26 May 2021 - 26 May 2021

Six Artists in Search of a Play


By Ola Rotimi

Directed By Ebenezer Bamgboye

Running Time: Approx. 1 Hour & 30 Mins

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production information

This semi-staged reading will take place at the Almeida, as part of Six Artists in Search of a Play.

Inspired by Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, The Gods Are Not To Blame follows King Odewale on a rousing journey to discover what is bringing such bad luck to the people of his kingdom, only to find that the answer lies close to home…

Considered an allegory of colonialism and a response to the Nigerian Civil War, Ola Rotimi’s play considers the roles of fate, ethnic distrust and hostility, and the legacy of colonial conquest in the fall of a flawed hero.

The Gods Are Not To Blame was first staged in Nigeria at the Festival of the Arts in 1968 and awarded first prize in the African Arts/Arts d'Afrique playwriting contest in 1969.

Ebenezer Bamgboye on why he chose this play: “To me, Ola Rotimi is undoubtedly the Shakespeare of Nigeria, and perhaps even of Africa! The Gods Are Not To Blame is a prime example of his excellence and idiosyncrasies; visceral, thrilling, poetic and an enshrinement of the quintessence of Nigerian culture. I count it as a great honour to be able to bring life to his words and hopefully to contribute in a small way to bringing greater recognition to his name and work.”

Don't miss the accompanying event The Dilemma of a Ghost & A British West African “Voice” Panel.

Dates & Tickets

Wednesday 26 May 7pm
£10 (£5 Concessions)

To ensure the Almeida is accessible to as many people as possible we’re offering £5 tickets to anyone who is:
- Aged 30 or under
- A student
- D/deaf or disabled plus their companion
- Aged 65 or over
- Claiming Jobseekers Allowance
- Living or working in Islington (use code ISFIRST to unlock)
A theatre or creative industries worker (use code INDUSTRY to unlock)

Simply select your ticket type when booking, and bring proof of eligibility for your performance.

Digital Recording
This performance will also be filmed and by attending this performance in-person you are agreeing to potentially being recorded and included in the digital recording of this production.

We currently can't confirm if we will be able to release a recording of The Gods Are Not To Blame due to ongoing discussions. We hope to have more information shortly.

Additional information

We’ve put in a number of steps to ensure our audiences are safe when visiting the Almeida, including socially distanced seating and flexible ticket exchanges. Find out more about how we’re welcoming audiences back here.

Please note there will be strictly no latecomers for this performance.

The running time is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, without an interval. Find out more about our running times here.

Read more about our production guidance and warnings, or contact Box Office if you have specific concerns.

Cast & Creatives

Direction Ebenezer Bamgboye
By Ola Rotimi
Composer & Musician Hannah Ledwidge
Lighting Designer Fraser Craig
Assistant Director Abi Falase

Jonathan Ajayi
Faith Alabi
Tobi Bakare
Maynard Eziashi
Mark Holden
Mimî M Khayisa
Zackary Momoh
Oseloka Obi
Anthony Ofoegbu
Victor Oshin

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