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Iyalode of Eti (2016)

  • Venue: Barber Studio
  • Duration: 140
  • Other: There will be a strict no latecomers policy. There is one 20 minute interval.
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More Information on Iyalode of Eti (2016)

Iyalode of Eti – A Reimagining of The Duchess of Malfi

Utopia Theatre presents the world premiere of Iyalode of Eti by Debo Oluwatuminu. Inspired by John Webster’s masterpiece The Duchess of Malfi, this is a unique reinvention of a classic. Set in pre-colonial Yoruba land, Iyalode of Eti transforms the Jacobean drama of the original into an enchanting, lyrical theatrical experience that is fresh, dynamic, and surprising. Rich language, bold characterisations, and thrilling storytelling carry the audience into an atmospheric world that is presented with startling intimacy and electric physicality. As visual as it is verbal, with the rhythms, flavours, colours, and myths of the Yoruba driving the intricate plotting, this is contemporary performance that blurs formal boundaries and transcends geographical borders. Ancient storytelling techniques mesh with modern physical theatre. Music, chant, dance and poetry are woven into an engrossing whole. Iyalode of Eti is classical theatre reborn, universal theatre for a global audience.

The recently widowed Iyalode longs to marry her lover Oguntade. But her scheming and controlling brothers forbid their union. When Iyalode secretly marries Oguntade, their love and lives are threatened. Iyalode of Eti is the story of how a woman asserts her strength and fights for her heart in a land ruled by men. An English play is retold as an African mystical fable riddled with rituals, hauntings, double-crossings, playful levity, and potent tragedy.

A unique West African transposition of one of the greatest dramas ever written, John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi.

Utopia Theatre will run a symposium on African Performance to accompany the piece on Friday 23 Sept.

Road Closures Notice

Please note that the roads surrounding the Playhouse will be being re-surfaced this week ahead of the opening of the new Victoria Gate.

Eastgate will be closed from 10pm – 4.30am until Fri 23 Sept.

We hope by making you aware of these works well in advance, alternative short term travel routes can be planned.

Cast & Credits

Writer Debo Oluwatuminu / Director Moji Kareem / Designer Emma Williams / Costume Designer Adesola Obebe / Lighting Designer Chris Speight / Sound Designer Rob Hart / Musical Director Sola Akingbola / Musicians Sola Akingbola and Ayan De First / Choreographers Lola Adodo and Andile Sotiya / Dramaturg Moji Kareem / Production Manager/Associate Producer Timothy Trimingham Lee / Company Stage Manager Helen Fagelman / Audience Development Odun Obebe and Rheima Ibrahim-Robinson / Rehearsal Photography Peter Corkhill / Trailer direction and music Abbie Lucas and Rob Hart /

Utopia Theatre

  • Lola Adodo
    as Adunni/Figure 1 (Spirit Being)
  • Sola Akingbola
    as Akanbi
  • Kehinde Bankole
    as Iyalode
  • Ayan De First
    as Adekunle/Baba Ifa/Oriyomi
  • Patrick Diabuah
    as Oguntade
  • Ayo-Dele Edwards
    as Labake
  • Tunde Euba
    as Oluawo
  • Tunji Falana
    as Esubiyi
  • Golda John
    as Osunkemi
  • Patrice Naiambana
    as Oloye Olorogun
  • Travis Robinson
    as Figure 2 (Spirit Being)/Egungun


Book Tickets

Captioned Performance

Open captioning allows theatre goers with varying degrees of hearing to view the full text as it is spoken or sung, including sound effects and off stage noises. These appear on a scrolling screen, positioned on or at the side of the stage.

British Sign Language Interpreted

A signed performance is the usual full production using either the creative use of sign integrated into the performance or a British Sign Language Interpreter on stage interpreting the show for D/deaf attendees.

Audio Described

Audio Described performances are designed to improve the experience of visually impaired and blind attendees. As well as listening to the dialogue on stage the customer can wear a headset and listen to a live description of the action on stage.

Relaxed Performance

A relaxed performance is a specially selected show from our programme, with slight adaptations to make it suitable for an audience of young people or adults with learning disabilities. This may include extra lighting, additional wheelchair spaces and the freedom to move to alternative seating if required.

Dementia-Friendly Performance

Dementia friendly performances are for all audiences. The theatre experience is enhanced for people living with dementia and their supporters, with adaptations to front of house service, the show and pre-show information packs. Additional dementia-aware staff, quiet spaces, clear signage and visual markers, sound and lighting adjustments and flexible seating options all help to create a supportive, shared experience.

Sing Along

Singalong with the cast in this exclusive performance. Join in as loud as you like, fancy dress is optional but highly recommended.

Post Show Discussion

Parent & Baby Performance

A Parent and Baby performance enables parents to attend the theatre with their baby (under 12 months). We make small adaptations to the lighting and sound effects, including keeping the auditorium lights slightly raised. The seating is unallocated and there is a relaxed attitude to noise.

Booking Fees:

*A transaction fee of £1.95 will be applied to all phone and internet bookings.


  • Captioned - Captioned
  • Signed - Signed
  • Audio Description - Audio Description
  • Relaxed Performance - Relaxed Performance
  • Dementia Friendly Performance - Dementia Friendly Performance
  • Post Show Discussion - Post Show Discussion
  • Sing Along - Sing Along
  • Parent & Baby Performance - Parent & Baby Performance
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Arts Council England Leeds City Council The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
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Caddick Developments
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