Spora Stories presents
By Ade Solanke Directed by Ola Animashawun In a co-production with The Jon Harris Partnership
Wednesday 9 May to Saturday 26 May at The Arcola Tent

On holiday with her streetwise son in Lagos, a British-Nigerian mother is in turmoil. Should she leave her only child in a strict Lagos boarding school, or return him to the battlefields of inner London? A family spanning three generations and two continents meet in Lagos for the first time in over thirty years. But the joy of reunion unleashes long-suppressed truths.

Ola Animashawun directs Ade Solanke’s potent new play, Pandora’s Box; a lively and compelling examination of loyalty, love and betrayal, Pandora’s Box reveals the heartbreak behind the difficult choices some parents must make – and the price their children pay.

Ade Solanke is a playwright and screenwriter. Her work has been performed in two leading festivals of contemporary playwriting: Tiata Fahodzi’s Tiata Delights at the Almeida, and Talawa’s Unzipped at the Young Vic. Her writing credits include for radio the award-winning BBC radio drama Westway and work on Radio 4. Solanke won Best Playwright 2011 at The African Film Awards. She is currently Writer-in-Residence at Goldsmiths College Pinter Centre.
Ola Animashawun is the Creative Director of Euphoric Ink and Diversity Associate at the Royal Court Theatre. His directing credits include Adelaide Road (RSC), Breathe (Theatre Absolute) and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts at the Royal Court.

The play addresses a subject of great topical debate in the African-Caribbean community. Diane Abbott MP, who sent her son to school in Ghana for two years, will be joined by Richard Taylor OBE, founder of the Damilola Taylor Trust and Olu Alake, President of the 100 Black Men of London, in a discussion on education, Africa and British-African kids at the Arcola Tent on Saturday 12 May at 4.30pm following the matinee and also at 9pm immediately after the evening performance.

‘This play is a funny, poignant look at family relationships. All parents agonise over the best educational choices for their children. For black and diaspora parents, issues of race and culture make the decision-making even more complex. Pandora’s Box offers an entertaining and fascinating insight into parenting, mother-son dynamics and educational issues.’

Diane Abbott Full casting to be announced shortly. The production is supported by the Damilola Taylor Trust.

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