'Alights like an elegant butterfly on a great many issues, including homophobia, sectarianism and the demands of capital…Ellams offers an easy intimacy, and the story tumbles out with a low-key virtuosity, the words falling skittishly over each other.' —The Guardian
'Full of arresting images that create a hybrid of lyrical ecstasy and cinematic effects…a fluent, intense 70-minute confection and a tinglingly resonant celebration of the art of solo performance.' —Evening Standard
'Ellams has an easy, laid-back charisma and pares poetic flair for narrative with admirable restraint. The wordsmith remains present, though, and his sentences, with their sophisticated flavour and texture combinations, can be something of a Michelin-starred mouthful…you sink into his storytelling' —Time Out
“The wild things they did with those tees. Some held together by wooden pins. Some strung to wear just once. Some of long thin detachable sleeves...”
A T-shirt is something most people have. It is a common denominator like a pair of blue jeans or a pair of Converse All Stars. From Fringe First winner Inua Ellams, comes a new story about two foster brothers building a global t-shirt brand. On their journey from a market in Nigeria to a sweatshop in China, Matthew and Muhammed discover the consequences of success. The play tackles capitalism and exploitation, as well as sectarianism and homophobia in modern day Nigeria.
Inua Ellams was born in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria in 1984. He left Nigeria in ’96 and works as a poet, playwright, performer and graphic designer/artist. He works primarily as a poet and describes his writings for theatre as ‘long poems.’ His first play The 14th Tale (Def Eye, Flipped Eye, 2009) commissioned by the Battersea Arts Centre, was awarded a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival, before a sold out run at The National Theatre in London. His second play Untitled was commissioned by Soho Theatre. His third play, Black T Shirt Collection is also published by Oberon Books and touring with Fuel Theatre Company during 2012.