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Announcing An unfinished man

12 February 2020

We’re so thrilled to announce the premiere of the debut play by Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme Winner and BBC TV Drama Writers’ Programme 2020 participant Dipo Baruwa-Etti: An unfinished man, directed by Taio Lawson and running from 17 April to 16 May.

An unfinished man centres around Kayode, a British-Nigerian man in East London who has been unemployed for seven years. His wife wants him to seek therapy, but his mother and her pastor believe he has been cursed as a baby in Nigeria and want him to try to break the spell through prayer. Centring witchcraft and magic alongside the clash between West African and Western attitudes to mental health, An unfinished man explores the interplay of structural racism, patriarchy, and capitalism, and tells a vital story of a young black man in today’s East London.

An unfinished man was developed following Dipo’s presentation of an early-stage idea in our Live Drafts festival in April 2018, which is programmed through open submissions. The creative team includes Designer Rosie Elnile (The Wolves, Theatre Royal Stratford East; Unknown Island, The Gate), Movement Directer Lanre Malaolu (Elephant In The Room, Camden People’s Theatre; Passover, Birmingham Rep), Sound Designer George Dennis (Sweat, Donmar Warehouse/Gielgud Theatre; Nine Night, National Theatre/Trafalgar Studios) and Lighting Designer Ciaran Cunnigham (Wish List, Manchester Royal Exchange/Royal Court Theatre). The casting is to be announced (watch this space).

Writer Dipo Baruwa-Etti:

“I am thrilled to have An unfinished man on at The Yard. Since starting this project with them in 2018, I’ve been given the support to fully express my voice. I’ve been able to go to places I can only imagine – including creating my own fictional language! There’s nowhere else I would have been able to tell this story in the way I wanted to tell it.”

The Yard’s Artistic Director Jay Miller:

Being a space for new artists to have their voice heard is written into The Yard’s DNA. Much of our most exciting work has been created by artists who came to The Yard via open submissions, from Michaela Coel to Josh Azouz, and now Dipo Baruwa-Etti. Dipo has a voice that is utterly unique, and it has been a privilege to work closely with him over these last 2 years and watch this story grow. With such a brilliant creative team behind it, it is going to be unmissable.”

An unfinished man runs from Friday 17th April to Saturday 16th May, and the run will include a captioned performance, a matinee for local schools, and a post-show conversation with the show’s creatives on 30th April. Tickets start at £10, with £5 tickets on the door for under 26s across the run and 30% off for local residents with a free Yard Local Card.

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