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Poet, Playwright and Performer Inua Ellams to bring cultural escapades to Dublin city

Poet, Playwright and Performer Inua Ellams to bring cultural escapades to Dublin city

Inua Ellams, Fuel and the Abbey Theatre present 05Fest  1 – 8 July

  • Poet, Playwright and Performer Inua Ellams to bring cultural escapades to Dublin city

  • Ellams will present The Midnight Run, An Evening With an Immigrant, Poetry & Film / Hack, Reel Mix and R.A.P. Party

This July, Inua Ellams, Fuel and the Abbey Theatre present 05Fest – a festival that brings poetry centre stage and unites separate strands of Ellams’ work in different styles and locations. The programme of events is outlined below.

HRP Tower of London Inua Ellams January 29 2018.

Writing as an art form has the ability to change perspective. One line of poetry or even punctuation can change meaning and understanding. Artist Inua Ellams will showcase the power of words when he visits Dublin this summer to curate and host a series of exciting cultural events at the Abbey and across the city. 

This will not be Inua’s first time in Dublin. Born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother in what is now considered by many to be Boko Haram territory, award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams left Nigeria for England in 1996 aged 12, moved to Ireland for three years, before returning to London and starting work as a writer and graphic designer. While in Dublin, Inua experienced both prejudice and friendship and has described it as a time when the seeds were sown for his poetry. Part of this story was documented in his autobiographical Edinburgh Fringe First Award winning play The 14th Tale

HRP Tower of London Inua Ellams January 29 2018.

Inua Ellams said: “Everything I am as an artist was seeded in Dublin, way out in Tallaght. My teachers in Firhouse Community College taught me about the power of language, and its ability to provide relief, community and escapism for those in need – and we are all, always in need. It is such an honour to bring 05Fest here, to share, build and grow with Dublin’s finest artists and writers, and gift our creations to the people of this city, the city taught me and brought me to myself.

“This is very exciting for the Abbey,” said Caitríona McLaughlin, Artistic Director, Abbey Theatre. “Inua and 05Fest are not just coming to the Abbey, they’re coming to use Dublin city as backdrop for a new form of performance and theatre. Theatre that brings new voices and perspectives and a new energy.”

Kate McGrath, director of Fuel, said: “Sharing Inua’s work in Dublin in this way feels very special. His teenage years in the city shaped who he is as a writer, and now he’s coming back to collaborate with local artists in the city where he once lived. It also feels great for Fuel to be back in Dublin – we’ve loved presenting our work in the city over the years, and having collaborated with on a virtual tour during lockdown, it’s great to be coming to meet live audiences at the Abbey.”


The Midnight Run – 1 July

The Midnight Run is a walking, arts-filled, night-time cultural journey through urban spaces. Having taken place in over 40 cities across seven countries it is now making its way to Dublin. Dublin will become a magical backdrop and safe space for conversation. The Midnight Run takes its participants on an adventure to celebrate the nocturnal life of a familiar city and gathers participants and local artists together to explore, play and create, whilst the city sleeps. Three local artists will accompany Inua. Come ready to play, explore and meet new people. Creative activities have previously included poetry, painting, movement and more. First artist to be announced as part of The Midnight Run is Michelle Browne. Michelle is a visual artist and curator based in Dublin. More artists will be announced in the coming weeks.

An Evening with an Immigrant – 3 July

An Evening with an Immigrant is an autobiographical monologue consisting of poems linked together by anecdotes and stories that Inua speaks directly to the audience. The show is set against a soundtrack curated by DJ Sid Mercutio. The production has received much critical acclaim and audience praise for making visible the personal experiences of those struggling with hostile government immigration policies, Inua’s captivating presence on stage, and the rich poetic language. Littered with poems, stories and anecdotes, Inua tells his fantastic, sometimes ridiculous, poignant immigrant-story of escaping fundamentalist Islam, experiencing prejudice and friendship in Dublin, performing solo at the National Theatre, and drinking wine with the Queen of England, all the while without a country to belong to or place to call home.

See Also

Poetry + Film / Hack – 5 July
 Poetry + Film / Hack presents both artforms in collaboration, by adding live poetry readings to the viewing experience of magnificent films. We choose movies that are socially, politically or culturally resonant and by including poetry in their presentation, expand, deepen or highlight their themes. The movie chosen for this event is The Butcher Boy (1997) based off of Patrick McCabe’s 1992 novel of the same name. 

Reel Mix – 6 -7 July  

Five directors. Five films. Five perspectives. One story. 
How different can films be when their scripts are the same? 
Conceived by award-winning writer, Inua Ellams, who will pen the screenplay, Reel Mix demonstrates how words and meanings can shift under different direction. The films, helmed by five of Ireland’s finest directors, will be screened back-to-back before a live audience with the cast and crew invited to discuss their artistic interpretations. 

R.A.P Party  – 8 July 

What might eloquent voices from contemporary poetry and spoken word movements have to say about hip-hop’s past, present and future? Come chill and find out at Inua Ellams’ Rhythm and Poetry Party, a nostalgic, no-clutter, no-fuss, night of hip-hop-inspired poems and favourite hip-hop songs. The format is super simple, 10 poets share a poem, and after each, the DJ will play two songs of the poet’s choosing linked to the poem.  Some poets who will perform on the night include: Ciara Ní É, Meg Mulchahy, Adam Mohamed, Jim Crickard and Inua Ellams. More poets and a DJ will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets are available now from Abbey Theatre

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