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The Unapologetic Writer

In this episode, writers Patricia Cumper and Pauline Walker are joined by playwright and academic Oladipo Agboluaje.

A portrait of the Black writer and academic Oladipo Agboluaje. He has close cropped hair and a greying beard and is wearing a blue sweatshirt.

Playwright Oladipo Agboluaje was born in Hackney and educated in Britain and Nigeria, studying theatre arts at the University of Berlin.  Since his first play Early Morning in 2003, he has written over 30 literary pieces, including stage and radio plays, short stories and films, and his work has been staged to acclaim in Europe, Nigeria, and the US.  His doctoral thesis was on West and South African drama.

In this podcast, Oladipo talks to hosts Pat Cumper and Pauline Walker about learning Yoruba to understand Nigerian stories, plays and comedies, his love of comic books, how a Nigerian and English education has given his writing duality and when he started to call himself a playwright.

I am a playwright. I will never apologise.

Oladipo ‘Dipo’ Agboluaje is a playwright and academic.

His first play Early Morning was produced in 2003 at Oval House Theatre in South London; it was followed by a string of original plays, adaptations and radio plays. His first collection of plays, Plays One, was published by Oberon in 2014.

His writing deals with identity and belonging, and the African Diasporic condition. He is the 2009 winner of the Alfred Fagon Award for playwriting for his play Iya-Ile (The First Wife)Iya-Ile was also nominated for an Olivier Award that same year. Set in Nigeria during military rule, Iya-Ile is a prequel to his 2006 play The Estate.

Oladipo has also published a number of poems and short stories. He now finds himself writing more for young audiences, setting plays in alternate worlds. His influences for this crop of work stems from a youth spent devouring science fiction and fantasy novels, and comic books.

He reviews essay submissions for the African Performance Review journal and has taught creative writing and post-colonial theatre at several universities.

His interests include supporting Arsenal football club and travelling. He lives in South London.

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