Utopia Theatre presents the world premiere of Iyalode of Eti by Debo Oluwatuminu. Inspired by John Webster’s masterpiece, The Duchess of Malfi, and conceived and directed by Moji Kareem, this is a unique reinvention of a classic. Set in pre-colonial Yoruba land, Iyalode of Eti transforms the Jacobean drama of the original into an enchanting, lyrical theatrical experience that is fresh, dynamic, and surprising. Rich language, bold characterisations, and thrilling storytelling carry the audience into an atmospheric world that is presented with startling intimacy and electric physicality. As visual as it is verbal, with the rhythms, flavours, colours, and myths of the Yoruba driving the intricate plotting, this is contemporary performance that blurs formal boundaries and transcends geographical borders. Ancient storytelling techniques mesh with modern physical theatre. Music, chant, dance and poetry are woven into an engrossing whole. Iyalode of Eti is classical theatre reborn, universal theatre for a global audience.
The recently widowed Iyalode longs to marry her lover Oguntade. But her scheming and controlling brothers forbid their union. When Iyalode secretly marries Oguntade, their love and lives are threatened. Iyalode of Eti is the story of how a woman asserts her strength and fights for her heart in a land ruled by men. An English play is retold as an African mystical fable riddled with rituals, hauntings, double-crossings, playful levity, and potent tragedy.