Anni Domingo was born in London but grew up in Freetown, Sierra Leone. She finished her education in the United Kingdom where she trained to be an actress as well as qualifying as a teacher of Speech and Drama at Rose Bruford College of Speech Drama. Anni later obtained a BA Honours (First Class) in Literature, another BA Honours (First Class) in Humanities with Creative Writing from The Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.
Anni has worked extensively as an actress in the theatre as well as on TV, Radio and Films. She has toured Europe, USA and Australia as a Shakespearean actress. She has worked for the BBC and other television stations as actress, broadcaster, and interviewer. Earlier this year Anni was in several episodes of EASTENDERS before appearing in Inua Ellam’s ‘Three Sisters’ at The National Theatre. She is currently lecturing at St. Mary’s University in Twickenham, at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama and Directing at RADA.
Anni works regularly as Director for WriteOn Theatre Company in Cambridge and in theatres around the UK. She recently directed ILE LA WA by Tolu Agbelusi at Stratford Circus Arts Theatre, London.
Anni is also a writer. Some of her plays have been performed and her poems and short stories published in various anthologies and online. Anni’s company, ‘Shakespeare Link,’ takes Shakespeare Workshops to schools and colleges and she has also written several workbooks on Shakespeare which have been used in many UK schools.
Her first novel, ‘Breaking the Maafa Chain’ was shortlisted for The Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize and won a place in a writing residency at Hedgebrook in Seattle. She then won the Myriad Editions First Novel Competition and an extract of her novel is in their highly acclaimed ‘New Daughters Of Africa’ anthology edited by Margaret Busby. ‘Breaking the Maafa Chain’, is to be published in 2021. Anni is now working on ‘Ominira’, her second novel.
Oyin Orija is an actor based in London.
East 15 Acting School, Royal Central School of Speech & Drama
SHARP CORNERS ( Slackline Productions/ Southwark Playhouse);
THE MOTHER COUNTRY (LJ Hope Productions/ Norwich Arts Centre);
HILDA & THE NORTHERN POWERHOUSE (Our Big Picture/ Grimsby Minster);
A MATTER OF LAW (TwoJens & Me/ Blue Orange Theatre);
THE WEREWOLF OF WASHINGTON HEIGHTS (Slackline Productions/ The Cockpit Theatre);
HATCH (Burdall's Yard Theatre)
Lola May is a British-African Actress and Singer.
Her work on Stage includes:
Stories from C&I for Wake The Beast; Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (Germany Tour) for ADG Europe; Three Sisters at The National Theatre; 1991 at Southbank Centre; Shamrocks and Sugar for Origin Arts UK; Water Bread Salt (Tour) for Tangle; The Therapy Chronicles at The Bread and Roses Theatre; A Scholar and A Statesman for Black Oxford; #Haters (Tour) for Odd Eyes Theatre; Blown Youth at Wimbledon Studio Theatre; Everything by my Side for LiFT at Southbank Centre and Latitude Festival; Poof! at Albany Theatre, Black Attack for Black Lives Black Words at The Bush; Illegals the Game Show for Divergent Theatre; Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and The Tempest.
As a Singer, she performed on the soundtrack for Nancy (2018) starring Andrea Riseborough. On Screen, she appeared opposite BAFTA-Award-winning Actress, Wunmi Mosaku and EE Rising Star Nominee Sopé Dirisu, in the BAFTA and BIFA-multi-award-winning His House (2018).
She also appeared in the multi-award-winning TV Short, Lodgers (2017), opposite international African Comedian, AY; is and a Winner of the Exceptional Merit Award For a Lead Actress in a Film, at the WRPN WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2020, for Fir (2020). Other screen work includes Informer for BBC One.
Ayan De First
Ayan De First multi Awards winner is an African cultural Ambassador and the first premier talking drummer in Europe. He eats breaths and promotes African culture to a wider audience. Ayan De First was a miracle child who could not start his primary education until 9 years old due to illness and passing out frequently who was born to a family of drummers/performers.
A pioneer in many ways and a versatile artist, he has broken boundaries when he became the first African Talking drummer to perform for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and The Royal Family at Buckingham Palace, followed by another performance for HRH Prince Charles at St James’s Palace and in Croydon.
Apart from his appearances on numerous British TV Channels and on CNN as well as in Nigerian and British national and local newspapers, Ayan De First entered record books when he became the first African musician to have appeared and performed on Channel 4 ‘s programme ‘’Come Dine With Me’’. He has been interviewed severally on BBC Radio and FM. His theatre plays includes Tickets and Ties, The Secret Of Baba Segi’s Wives directed by Femi Elufowoju Junior and Iyalode Of Eti directed by Moji Kareem Elufowoju.
Mojisola Elufowoju is the CEO and Artistic Director of Utopia Theatre. A leading African Theatre company resident at Sheffield Crucible Theatre.
She was staff director at The National Theatre, working on Three Sisters by Inua Ellams. She was a recipient of the 2017 Opera Awards Foundation bursary, a founding member of Mosaic Opera Collective, guest director at British American Drama Academy, East 15, London South Bank University and University of the West of Scotland.
She is passionate about the growth and development of ethnic minorities in the theatre industry. Her work is to raise awareness and increase appreciation of African culture. She commissions and produces new writing and presents established classics within a strong African context, and in so doing, dispelling stereotypes and encouraging authentic voices from the African diaspora.
She has recently launched a new initiative, Utopia Theatre Creative Hub, bringing African theatre experts together to offer courses, workshops and events online. The Creative Hub brings together some of the world’s leading African artists who share their own knowledge and experience through workshops and events as well as offering 1:1 sessions with artists. The programme is designed to support the development of a sustainable talent pool, give African Theatre practitioners greater visibility and inspire the next generation of artists, ultimately strengthening African communities within the Arts.
Credits include: Here's What She Said To Me (Utopia Theatre /Sheffield Crucible) How Far Apart? (Utopia Theatre at Arcola Theatre and Sheffield Hallam Performance Lab) Far Gone (Theatre Deli - Sheffield and Sheffield Theatre Studio) The Bogus Woman (London South Bank University at Camden People’s Theatre), On Missing (Wretched Theatre at The Cockpit Theatre), Shadows In Different Shades (Utopia Theatre at Sheffield Theatre Studio), The Pied Piper Of Chibok Opera (Utopia Theatre at Opera North and Arcola Theatre), I am David Oluwale (Utopia Theatre at Leeds Playhouse), Iyalode of Eti (Utopia Theatre at Leeds Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible, Cast - Doncaster and Ake Festival Nigeria) London Tales (Utopia Theatre at Rich Mix and Lost Theatre) This Is Our Chance (James Ene Henshaw Foundation at Cultural Centre Calabar, Nigeria) The Shepherd’s Chameleon (Utopia Theatre at CLF Art Cafe) House of Corrections (Riverside Studios) Wake Me When It's Time (York Theatre Royal).
Oladipo trained in Theatre Arts at the University of Benin and has been a writer in residence at New Wolsey Theatre, Soho Theatre and the National Theatre. He has taught creative writing and postcolonial theatre at London Metropolitan University, Florida State University – London campus, Goldsmiths University of London and the University of Greenwich. He is a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund and the Assistant General Secretary of the African Theatre Association (AfTA).
Theatre credits include:
Early Morning (Oval House Theatre, South London); Mother Courage (adaptation with Eclipse Theatre/UK Tour); Knock Against My Heart (Redbridge Drama Centre); Immune (Royal & Derngate, Northampton with Plymouth Theatre Royal/Tour); The Estate (Soho Theatre); Iyale – The First Wife (Soho Theatre); The Christ of Coldharbour Lane (Soho Theatre); The Hounding of David Oluwale (adaptation – West Yorkshire Playhouse); Threshold (Jepson Theatre, University of Richmond); The Garbage King (adaptation at Unicorn Theatre); New Nigerians (Arcola Theatre).
Lighting Designer Chuma Emembolu trained with the Royal Shakespeare Company, under the tutelage of the Chief Electrician and Lighting Designer.
Highlights: Tales from Ovid (Swan Theatre), Don Juan (Hoxton Hall Theatre), Bouncers and Shakers (Gulbenkian Theatre/Marlow Theatre), Tainted The Musical (The Vaults)
Offie Commended Productions: Great Expectations, Macbeth the Musical, Illusions of Liberty
Offie Nominated Productions: I and the Village, The Sword of Alex
Rob Hart trained in Sound Design at Edinburgh University (Msc with Distinction) and has over 10 years experience working professionally in theatre and film.
Theatre Credits: 'Long Day’s Journey Into Night' (Bermuda Festival), 'Holiday Selfie' (Pulse Festival), 'Eclipse' (Theatre Royal, Stratford), 'Rosaura' (Women and War Festival), ‘Iyalode of Eti’ (West Yorkshire Playhouse), 'The Foley Explosion' (The Yard Theatre), ‘Here’s What She Said To Me’ (Sheffield Crucible) and 'No Future' (Camden People's Theatre).
He regularly performs experimental music and expanded cinema as a solo artist and in the collaborations 'Swab' and 'The Hellfire Project'. His sound design can be heard in the recent video series for the V&A ‘ASMR at the Museum.
Set and Costume Designer
Utopia Theatre credits:
Iyalode of Eti, Leeds Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible, Derby Playhouse;The Pied Piper of Chibok, Arcola Theatre and R&D showings for Shadows in Different Shades and I am David at Sheffield Crucible and Leeds Playhouse respectively.
Other Theatre Credits:
Everything I Own and Abigail’s Party, Hull Truck; Smile Club, Red Ladder, Leeds Playhouse and Upon the Stair, The Book of Darkness and Light, Harrogate Theatre.
Emma has been a long-term design collaborator with The Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah.
Juwon Ogungbe is a London based composer, singer and theatre-maker whose music draws inspiration from Opera, Western Art Music and African music genres.
Juwon’s concert and music theatre commissions include music for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Union Dance, the BBC, LIFT and the Southbank Centre amongst many others.
In 2018, Juwon composed and performed new works in residencies at Opera North, Grimeborn Opera Festival, Dhow Countries Music Academy, Zanzibar and Longfield Hall, London amongst other settings.
King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba – Juwon’s most recent music theatre piece - was premiered in 2019 and several new works of his were publicly performed in 2020.
Apart from creating music for film, television and radio, Juwon writes a daily blog which he posts on his website at www.juwonogungbe.com. He also presents weekly podcasts and vlogs that can be found on notable social media platforms.
Lati Saka trained at The Laban Centre of Movement and Dance and at Weekend Arts College. Her Choreographic approach has risen from her life experiences as a female born in Nigeria and raised in London; an existence where she cultivated an identity and dance signature by merging Nigerian, African and UK culture together which, to some extent, is exhibited in ‘Here’s What She Said to Me’
Her previous work with Utopia Theatre include ‘And the Girl’s in Their Sunday Dresses’ (Arcola Theatre, Today I’m Wiser Festival) and ‘Anna Hibiscus’ Song’ an R&D in collaboration with Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah (Sheffield Crucible)
Other work includes:
Still Breathing’ Unlock the Chains Collective (Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford); Finding Beulah’ , ‘Waters Flight’ (Pegasus Theatre) ‘Songhai’ (Burton Talyor Studio, Oxford Playhouse) and ‘Sold’ (North Wall) Kuumba Nia Arts; ‘Flight’ (Young Vic) ‘Running Red’ (H.G. Wells Suite, Woking Planets) ‘Playing God’ and ‘Skin Deep’ (Lilian Baylis, Sadler’s Wells) All Change; ‘Woza Albert’ and ‘Generations of the Dead in the Abyss of Coney Island Madness’ (Contact Theatre, Manchester).
Maria graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with a Ba(Hons) Dance Theater. Maria is an inclusive dance practitioner, choreographer and movement director.
Maria has worked with choreographers such as Tom Dale, Kerry Nicholls, Theo Clinkard, Kristina Sommerlade, Mavin Khoo, and James Wilton.
From 2008 to 2015 Maria was Artistic Director of RedTape Dance Company in Malta. Her choreographic work has been shown at Notte Bianca Malta, Resolutions!, Ziguzajg International Youth Festival, Sadlers Wells, The London Palladium, Her Majesty’s Theater, The Albany Theater, Malta International Arts Festival, Intransit Festival, Royal Festival Hall, Hampton Court Palace and Tower of London. She co-founded ShakespeareMoves with collaborator Zoe Waites. She has recently worked with BeeJar Theater and Utopia Theater as a movement director.
Alongside her theater engagements, Maria works with Tavaziva Dance Company, Royal Academy of Dance and StepChange Studios. She is also a movement tutor at Rose Bruford and BADA.