UK: Zodwa Nyoni returns with one-man refugee play

Rotheram Advertiser

Playwright and poet ... Zodwa Noyi

A TIMELY one-man show will bring the subject of refugees to the stage this month.

Nine Lives, starring Lladel Bryant as Ishmael, tells the story of a refugee and will be performed at Doncaster’s Cast theatre on November 12.

Written by Zodwa Nyoni, it tells the tale of a man seeking sanctuary in the UK from his home in Zimbabwe where a fresh wave of homophobia threatens his life. The play tells of his experiences in Yorkshire.

At Cast, Nine Lives will have pre-show performances by The Sheffield Socialist Choir and Shosholoza, a choir made up of Zimbabwean asylum seekers.

There will also be a photography exhibition from several Right UP Our Street projects. Completing the evening is a performance by Egyptian refugee musician Mina Salawa. 

Zodwa Nyoni said: “When a friend of mine was deported in 2013, I wanted to understand the process of claiming asylum in the UK. I read a lot of research studies, media reports, blogs and articles from the Home Office. Though useful, I was still not connecting to the human experience. 

“I met the people who so far had been depicted as statistics. It was here where I learnt about living in the borders of immigration policy. Each person had their own story to share.

“In the last year, there have been frequent and multiple negative reports in the public domain regarding refugees, asylum seekers and the word immigration.

“This play aims to connect us all back to the human stories. It hopes to counter generalizations of migration and assumptions of refugees and asylum seekers.”

Nine Lives begins at 7.45pm.

Tickets cost £10.50 or £8.50 concessions, available by calling 01302 303959 or online at



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