Chigozie Obioma is the author of The Fishermen, which was a finalist for the Man Booker prize 2015, and a winner of four other awards. He is a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and in Nigeria where where he runs various projects. His second novel, An Orchestra of Minorities will be published in January 2019.
By Chigozie Obioma, adapted for the stage by Gbolahan Obisesan and directed by Jack McNamara.
In a small Nigerian town, Ben and Obembe, along with their two older brothers, slip away to fish at a forbidden river. Unnoticed and carefree, they continue until one day the prophecy of a madman changes the course of their lives forever.
Based on the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel by one of Africa’s major new voices, New Perspectives, in association with HOME, presents this powerful allegory of brotherhood, vengeance and fate in a new adaptation by award-winning playwright Gbolahan Obisesan.
★★★★ “Jack McNamara’s strong direction [delivers] moments of brilliance… The Fishermen is a production with a spark of something very special.” – The Guardian
“Gbolahan Obisesan’s adaptation not only stays true to its style, its storytelling simple but succulent, but teases out its core truth with a smart use of form… Jack McNamara’s physical production makes its dramatic flashpoints ping… By the time it reaches the Edinburgh Fringe [The Fishermen] will be quite the catch.” – What’s On Stage
★★★★½ “The Fishermen makes a devastating transition from page to stage… Anyone who doubts that novels can be successfully adapted to the stage should rush to catch The Fishermen at HOME. So too should anyone who just wants to see a stunningly good play.” – Manchester Theatre Awards
“A thrilling hour of fast-paced and unrelenting action, fuelled by a wonderfully written story that keeps the audience guessing till the very end.” – The Greater Manchester Reviewer
★★★★★ “The world premiere of the stage adaptation of Chigozie Obioma’s Man Booker Prize-nominated book was met with a palpable sense of anticipation by the sell-out audience at HOME and it lived up to the hype… A breathtaking production [with] two actors demonstrating absolute command of the stage.” – North West End
“A dark and forbidding insight into Nigerian culture… A beautiful portrayal of brotherly love and family bonding in the age-old saying of ‘time heals all wounds’.” – Reviewer Number 9
“Delivers everything you could possibly want from modern theatre… It is a perfect gem.” – Jildy Sauce
“Pretty brilliant… Don’t miss this short opportunity to bear witness to this powerful and breathtaking performance of African storytelling.” – Honorary Manc
“Chigozie Obioma’s story [is] beautifully adapted by Gbolahan Obisesan… The strength of the storytelling and the very strong performances [drive] this superb play… Everything about this production is done to perfection” – Quiet Man Dave
★★★★½ “A must-see production. This astute stage adaptation by Gbolahan Obisesan is utterly gripping, with stand out performances from Valentine Olukoga and Michael Ajao… Theatre at its brilliant best.” – Caught in the Act
“Director Jack McNamara sustains the increasingly harrowing tension to its crushing conclusion… A production blessed with much to admire, it artfully pulls you into its increasingly murky depths. A powerful and thrilling piece of theatre.” – Circles & Stalls
“A production in which all the creative elements come together perfectly… Director Jack McNamara’s staging is brave and visually engaging… The Fishermen is, quite simply, a mesmerising piece of theatrical storytelling.” – Unrestricted Views
“Deftly adapted for the stage by Gbolahan Obisesan, under the skilful and passionate direction of Jack McNamara it becomes a triumph and absolute joy to behold… Story telling at its very best, drawing you in and staying with you long after you leave the theatre.” – Live Art Alive
Listen to what audiences have been saying about The Fishermen:
Recommended as a show you won’t want to miss in 2018 by the BBC, one of 10 shows to catch before they get to the Edinburgh Fringe by What’s On Stage, and one of 50 shows to see at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe by The Guardian.
Chigozie Obioma wrote a feature for The Guardian on life in present-day Nigeria; click here to read it.
“Impressively slick adaptation” – Time Out on New Perspectives’ The Boss of It All