Kehinde Bankole joins cast of UK theatre show ‘Anna Hibiscus’ Song’

This comes years after she was part of the Utopia Theatre Creative Hub Programme, an event that brought African theatre experts together to offer courses, workshops and events online in 2020.

In a press statement, the production praised her enormous talent which has led her to win two Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA).

Her enormous talent has led to the portrayal of many roles at venues including Shakespeare’s Globe. She continues to make significant contributions to the growing world of cinema in Nigeria, starring in highly acclaimed blockbuster movies such as Adire, Blood Sisters and Sista on streaming platforms Netflix and Amazon Prime. Bankole’s numerous awards include Best Lead Actress at the AMVCA for her role in Adire. In Anna Hibiscus’ Song, she will play Auntie Jolie and Storyteller,” the statement said.

Bankole said in the statement that she is looking forward to joining the production.

“I’m always seeking new adventures and particularly enjoy sharing the vibrant essence of African stories and its rich tapestry. I’m so looking forward to being part of this wonderful adaptation of a beautiful story which will capture the imagination of audiences young and old,” she said.

Anna Hibiscus’ Song is based on the 2011 book by Nigerian writer Atinuke. It follows the story of Anna Hibiscus who lives in Africa and is so happy she doesn’t know what to do with all her happiness, so she sets off to ask her family. As she begins her enquiry into how to utilise her happiness, she speaks to her mother and father and grandfather and grandmother and aunties and cousins. The more she spoke to them the more her happiness grew.

Anna Hibiscus’ Song is from a series of children’s books that also include, Anna Hibiscus (2007), Hooray for Anna Hibiscus (2008) and Good Luck, Anna Hibiscus! (2009), among others.

The cast also includes Malick Bojang as Grandfather, Chocolate and Storyteller, Althea Burey as Mama, Angel and Storyteller, Dorthea Darby as Grandmother, Uncle Tunde, Benz and Storyteller, Julius Obende as Papa, on-stage musician and Storyteller and Saskia Rose as Anna Hibiscus and Storyteller.

The production will tour nine cities in the UK after securing additional Arts Council England funding. The first performances will be staged at Bristol Old Vic from August 28-31 2024. Its run ends at Unicorn Theatre in London from October 9-13 2024. It will be directed by Utopia Theatre’s artistic director, Mojisola Kareem.

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