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Award-winning Nigerian actress joins cast of Anna Hibiscus’ Song  

Renowned Nigerian actress and producer Kehinde Bankole has joined the cast of Anna Hibiscus’ Song ahead of the uplifting story of a young girl living in amazing Africa embarking on a UK tour.

Bankole, who last year lent her voice to Disney’s Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, will bring her unwavering enthusiasm for African culture and human stories to the Utopia Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production. 

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, BloodSisters and Sista on streaming platforms Netflix and Amazon Prime. 

Bankole’s numerous awards include ‘Best Lead Actress’ at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards for her role in Adire. In Anna Hibiscus’ Song, she will play Auntie Jolie and Storyteller. 

Speaking about her latest role, Kehinde Bankole said: “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.” 

Kehinde joins the original cast from 2023’s production: 

  • Malick Bojang – Grandfather, Chocolate and Storyteller 
  • Althea Burey – Mama, Angel and Storyteller 
  • Dorthea Darby – Grandmother, Uncle Tunde, Benz and Storyteller
  • Julius Obende – Papa, on-stage musician and Storyteller
  • Saskia Rose – Anna Hibiscus and Storyteller 

Utopia Theatre is taking Anna Hibiscus’ Song on a UK tour of nine cities after securing additional Arts Council England funding. The first performances will be staged at Bristol Old Vic 28-31 August and the run ends at Unicorn Theatre in London 9-13 October. Anna Hibiscus’ Song has been adapted for the stage and directed by Utopia Theatre’s Artistic Director Mojisola Kareem from the book written by Atinuke  and illustrated by Lauren Tobia. 

The participatory production has something for everyone to enjoy, and the tour draws on the success of the show first staged at Sheffield Theatres and in Yorkshire community venues in 2023.  Last year’s production run was watched by thousands of children, families and adults; captivated by the unique story of happiness and self-discovery. 

Told through music, dance, puppetry and traditional African storytelling, Anna Hibiscus’ Song is a theatrical adaptation of the popular children’s book which promises to have audiences beaming from ear to ear. Suitable for children aged 3+ and their families, the performances will be interactive and colourful throughout to bring the stage and story to life. 

Tickets for Anna Hibiscus’ Song are on sale. To buy tickets, visit