Female bravery in different worlds

Duchess of Malfi (Iyalode of Eti)

Duchess of Malfi (Iyalode of Eti)

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The Crucible Studio next week hosts two compelling plays highlighting the strength and courage of women, The Duchess of Malfi (Iyalode of Eti), an African reimagining of a Jacobean tragedy, and Tanja,about bravery in the face of prejudice.

Based on John Webster’s drama, The Duchess of Malfi (Iyalode of Eti), is the story of a woman who asserts her strength and fights from the heart in a land ruled by men.

Recently widowed Iyalode (Kehinde Bankole), a young beautiful chief, longs to marry her low-born lover, Oguntade (Patrick Diabuah). Her scheming and controlling brothers forbid it but Iyalode secretly marries and gives birth. If the brothers discover the deceit, a trail of torture, torment, betrayal and murder could follow…

Traditional storytelling techniques combine with modern physical theatre in the Utopia Theatre production conceived and directed by Moji Kareem. Debo Oluwatuminu’s dynamic adaptation is full of the rhythms, flavours, colours, and myths of West Africa.

An impassioned call to arms, a play and a campaign, Tanja is a new piece from Yorkshire-based touring theatre company Strawberry Blonde Curls in partnership with City of Sanctuary that tells the story of one woman’s bid for sanctuary.

Locked up. Shipped around. Sold as sex. In the black of night Tanja fled to safety in England only to become a statistic, one more asylum seeker held at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre; she knows that refuge lies beyond the barbed wire fence, but at what cost?

Inspired by the experiences of lead actress Emily Ntshangase-Wood, herself a former Yarl’s Wood detainee and others who have been detained in similar circumstances, this is a story of female bravery in the midst of prejudice and abuse.

The Duchess of Malfi (Iyalode of Eti) runs from Monday to Wednesday and Tanja is on Thursday, September 29.