Press & Audience Feedback



“A powerful, funny and inventive production.” Exeunt Magazine

“The acting performances are powerful. The vocal resonance of the voices is thrilling, as is the movement, singing and relationship with the audience.” British Theatre Guide

“This English play is retold as an African mystical fable riddled with rituals, hauntings, double crossings, playful levity and potent tragedy. It was colourful, fresh, lyrical, beautifully lit, staged and costumed.” Yorkshire Times

“Iyalode of Eti is an absolute treat, which manages to bring something genuinely new to a play that has by now seemingly been studied and reimagined to death.” The Gryphon

“Moji Kareem successful direction of Iyalode of Eti is certainly a tragedy re-imagined on stage and its pulsating African sounds and rhythms reach many beyond West Africa!” ★★★★ North West End

Review: Iyalode of Eti at Sheffield Theatres Studio

Iyalode of Eti (Utopia Theatre) @ Sheffield Theatres Studio


“A vibrant and knowledgeable production of a very high standard”

Grumpy Gay Critic

“A sharp and effective play, directed with precision by Kareem”

A Younger Theatre

“Kareem’s surreal yet captivating combination of words, movement, sound, and props allow Ionesco’s point to emerge”

London Theatre Tickets

“I applaud Utopia Theatre for bringing intelligent theatre to South London”

Remote Goat



“It was a great introduction to African theatre. It made me keen to find out more about it”

“Deep, Ethically rich. Poetic and Humorous”

“Go and see it and learn something about Yoruba”

“Great story and insight into Nigerian culture and Mythology”

“Please keep this on. We need to see more of this type of play”

“Epic story telling”

“Would Love to see the full production”

“Fantastic and powerful production”

“What a great achievement by creative director Moji Kareem and her excellent cast in transcribing the Duchess of Malfi so authentically and convincingly into pre- colonial Yorubaland ”

“I think Iyalode of Eti is intelligently yet sensitively written and a powerful reflection of human stories. The effective and creative use of the stage area by the passionate and talented cast was in tune with the inspired directing. The production is heartfelt, thought provoking and professional in its execution. Deserves support and definitely worth experiencing”  



“Iyalode of Eti was an exuberant transposition of Duchess of Malfi to a Yoruba cultural setting. It was close to a full production. The writing was powerfully rendered through the dialogue, and the performances were nuanced. It was quite special sitting among the audience observing their reaction. Mostly of African background, they were fully engaged. There are fewer plays like this around, and going by the audience that night it is obvious there is a market for this kind of work.”

Oladipo Agboluaje – Playwright


“I thought that the concept and material were hugely promising. The cultural transposition appeared rich and ripe in opportunities for insightful theatre. (Sometimes these things can feel a bit forced but on this occasion it felt as if there was a good marriage to be made between the play and the new setting). I feel it has the potential to gain a wide and diverse audience“

Thomas Kell- Ex Administrative Director, Tiata Fahodzi 


“I was intrigued by the idea of an African retelling of a major European classic since first mentioned by the writer, Debo. The Yoruba setting for TDoMALFI challenged a very traditional play into something that while remaining a tragedy was infused with light and colour, music and poetry, even humour. This approach to exploring a known tale in different story-telling tradition has huge power in our multicultural society. And it can draw a hungry and ready new audience to the theatre. Most importantly IYALODE avoided simply retelling a story in a new setting. It didn’t patronise by simply offering up the known in a new world. It thoroughly explored how such a drama could be told / lived / experienced in an alternate setting. It felt familiar, but totally new and I have genuinely never seen anything like it on stage. Its potential to reach out to the audience was exemplified by the quality of the cast it managed to attract – the kind of characters and lines few actors get to normally deliver. And I can also genuinely say I have never seen an audience react to the work as they did in Bethnal Green – so involved with it, eager to ask questions afterwards, to understand and challenge it. It was a thoroughly eye-opening theatre experience for me, despite years of going to shows. “

Andrew Mills- Agent (JAB Management Ltd) 


“I felt Iyalode of Eti to be a rich and vibrant event bringing together dance, theatre and music in a powerful and engaging way whilst also drawing imaginatively on both contemporary and traditional aspects of West African culture – I loved watching it.”

Anna Coombs – Artistic Director Tangle Theatre 


“An electrical and excellently written and performed show based in a land, time and culture seldom explored. Iyalode of Eti must be fully remounted and tour as soon as possible”.

Debo Adebayo –Digital and Communications Consultant 


Even at this early stage of the production, there was a complete cohesive language for telling of this tragic classic text.  Working from Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, we are propelled into Nigerian society and mythology.  With a full cast, live music and dance, we are transported into an environment of epic settings. The interwoven storytelling and characters with cultural references did take some focus, possibly more depending on audience diversity.  However, the narrative was made clear through its clear direction and great performances. With the addition of a full creative team it would add to an exciting and moving production.”

Rajha Shakiry – Set Designer 


“The staged reading of Iyalode of Eti at Rich Mix was a remarkable achievement. Oluwatuminu’s adaptation of The Duchess of Malfi was superb. The script was playful, sharp, poetic and rich with proverbs. The story translated beautifully into a Yoruba context and took the concept even further. The play was funny, thought provoking and powerful. The gender dynamics took on an extra profundity for me. The ensemble playing, directed by Moji Kareem, was brilliant. Moji brought together a fantastic cast of established African actors and some rising stars as well. I felt proud to watch them. The music and dance worked well and the simplicity of the staging facilitated the storytelling. The audience were equally responsive, talking back, repeating the proverbs, laughing during the show and joining in the discussion afterwards. There is certainly an audience for sophisticated literary West African storytelling theatre of this kind, in this country. Utopia Theatre are well placed to meet a need in this regard. It was a privilege for me to mentor the development of this project and to host the post-show discussion at Rich Mix. Moji, Debo and the company did an excellent job and this was just a staged reading! I’ll be the first in line for a ticket to the full production”.

Mojisola Adebayo –Actor, Playwright, Director, Producer and Teacher