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Femi Elufowoju, Jr. is a British – Nigerian actor, performer, and director with over 30 years’ experience in the field. He works across a broad range of media as an actor including television (Sex Education 2019) (Year of the Rabbit 2019) (Mechanic: Resurrection 2016) (Borgen 2011). He has directed film (The Soldier’s Tale 2021), radio drama (Stages of Independence for BBC World Service, a celebration of 50 years of African drama throwing a spotlight on 50 years of Africa's Independence 2010), and of course award winning theatre productions. He has directed more than a dozen productions for the stage across the UK and internationally. He is directing Verdi’s Rigoletto for Opera North in Leeds in 2021. Continuing with opera, Elufowoju, Jr. will direct in 2022 The Anonymous Lover based on the life and work of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint Georges for Theatre Gallen in Switzerland.

In this interview you will hear about his training as an actor and as a director. He discusses the influences of Peter Brooks, Stanislavsky, and Brecht on his directing style. Elufowoju, Jr. has created two theatre companies and demonstrates how important it has been for him to reflect on his goals and to move forward into creating The Femi Elufowoju, Jr. Ensemble, a company dedicated to providing world class theatre inspired by the African continent. Femi Elufowoju, Jr. shares his insights into the importance of avoiding generic characterisations of African theatre. The differences between ‘Mali and Malawi, between Niger and Nigeria’ are not limited to their names, but extend into language, culture, history, and day to day concerns. In many ways, the notion of ‘African’ theatre itself, hides more than it reveals. In relation to acting Elufowoju, Jr. has several important tips for would-be actors. For him there are three lessons he wishes to pass on to up and coming creatives. Watch the video for these important learnings and more.

Questions for consideration:

Regional Young Directors Scheme


Film 1: Introductions
Film 2: What inspired you to become an actor?
Film 3: What experiences shaped your early acting career?
Film 4: What mindset and training does an actor need for a successful career?
Film 5: What is the most difficult thing in acting?
Film 6: What are the dos and don'ts of auditions?
Film 7: How can you enrich your acting practice?
Film 8: What are your tips for a successful acting career?
Film 9: So, how do you prepare for a role?
Film 10: How do you embody character and communicate naturalness?
Film 11: Give us your views on the use of space, movement and non-verbal communication.
Film 12: What are your thoughts on developing a strong working relationship with directors?
Film 13: Do actors have a responsibility to the audience?
Film 14: Tell your views on costume and props
Film 15: What makes an African Theatre performer unique?
Film 16: What are your views on performing in the round as opposed to other forms of stage configurations?
Film 17: What acting techniques have you found most useful in your career?
Film 18: Do you have any fears and insecurities as a performer and if so, how do you overcome them?
Film 19: How does working on stage differ from working for screen?
Film 20: Give us some tips on voice training, physicality and control
Film 21: What advice would you give young actors regarding preparation and rehearsals?
Film 22: If you give yourself advice as a 20-year-old, what would you say?
Film 23: What are the lessons you have learnt about the theatre industry?
Film 24: Parting words


Film 1: Introductions
Film 2: Creative Director is a great job title but what does it mean?
Film 3: Tell us a bit about the Elufowoju Jr Ensemble. What is it that the company is looking to do?
Film 4: How did you become involved in 'The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives'?
Film 5 : Tell us a bit about Rotimi Babatunde's musical adaptation of the book
Film 6: How would you define African theatre?
Film 7: What has influenced your directing style?
Film 8: Who did you make 'The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives' for?
Film 9: How much do you consider the audience in your directing process?
Film 10: If you could give yourself advice as a 20 year old, what would you say?
Film 11: For someone trying to discover African theatre or the current voices of African Diaspora, where would you direct them?
Film 12: What do you look for in potential collaborators?
Film 13: To you, what is the role of the dramaturg?
Film 14: What does authenticity mean to you?
Film 15: Some advice for African theatre practitioners in the Diaspora
Film 16: Do you think that we should advocate for an African theatre vocabulary?
Film 17: What valuable lessons have you learnt in your career?
Film 18: What is the future of African Theatre in the digital age?
Film 19: What is the impact of the Covid pandemic on the performing arts industry?
Film 20: How does your experience of theatre in Nigeria compare to that of the UK?
Film 21: What is the importance of theatre?
Film 22: Parting Words