1988: at four-years-old, he short-circuited his home with a silver spoon and a Betamax video player.
1989: stopped a 700-strong student assembly with a tantrum.
1995: was chased through jungle growth by a crazed, frustrated French teacher called Monsieur Batcock...Misfit? Apparently—until a little family research reveals a pattern of mischief reaching as far back as a great grandfather, and so the story begins:
I'm from a long line of trouble makers, of ash skinned Africans, born with clenched fists and a natural thirst for battle only quenched by breast milk. They'd suckle as if the white silk sliding between gums were liquid peace treaties from mums. The 14th Tale is a beautiful mellifluous narrative that tells the hilarious exploits of a natural born mischief, growing from the clay streets of Nigeria to rooftops in Dublin and finally to London by award-winning writer and performer Inua Ellams.
Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a cross-art-form practitioner, a poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist, designer and founder of the Midnight Run – a nocturnal urban excursion. He is a Complete Works poet alumni and a designer at White Space Creative Agency. Inua Ellams’ previous plays at the National include The 14th Tale (Fringe First award) and Black T-Shirt Collection. Other plays include The Riddler at Theatre503; Knight Watch at Greenwich + Docklands Festival; Mostly Like Blue for Islington Community Theatre; Cape at the Unicorn; The Long Song Goodbye at Battersea Arts Centre; Fastcuts and Snapshot at West Yorkshire Playhouse; Marsh Orchids & Concrete for China Plate; Reset Everything and An Evening with an Immigrant at the Soho; and Turned at Trafalgar Studios. Radio plays include The Ballad of Abdul Ha z and Wild Blood.