MY FATHER & OTHER SUPERHEROES

A story of rejection and acceptance through three aspects of the human psyche: the inner child; the here and now ; and fantasy.

“A fantastic piece of theatre…Makoha’s performance is raw and captivating… the trick is to find the human in the hero.”

UoBlogfest

THE SHOW

The day Nick Makoha realised he was going to become a father,

he also realised he had no idea how to be one…

This is one man’s honest revelation of how pop culture raised him in the absence of his father. We follow Nick’s journey as he discovers what it takes for a man to become a hero, and how a hero can be just a man….My Father and Other Superheroes is a moving and powerful story about the journey from childhood to fatherhood. Set across continents and eras, it follows one man’s struggle to come to terms with the responsibilities of being a parent and his confrontation with his own father’s absence.

MY FATHER & OTHER SUPERHEROES

VIDEO TASTER

MOTION COMIC

Working with Freakhouse Graphics and Madefire, we’ve created an animated version of the popular My Father and Other Superheroes graphic novel. This ‘motion comic’ works a bit like a video game: you control how quickly you move through it, and can stop and start at any point. Make sure you turn the volume up to hear the show music with each panel! (Clicking the image below takes you to the motion comic)

CREATIVE TEAM

NICK MAKOHA

Nick Makoha

Writer

Born in Uganda, Nick Makoha fled the country with his mother, as a result of political overtones that arose from the civil war during the Idi Amin dictatorship. He has lived in Kenya, Saudi Arabia and currently resides in London. He has presented his work at many international events and toured for the British Council in Finland, Czech Republic the US and the Netherlands. In 2005 award-winning publisher Flippedeye launched its pamphlet series with his debut The Lost Collection of an Invisible Man.

As a former writer in Residence for Newham Libraries he wrote the poem ‘Promise to my unborn son’ which was published in the anthology Out Of Bounds (Bloodaxe 2012). The venture conceived by Spread the Word and Newham Libraries aimed to increase the number of residents in the borough of Newham actively involved in creative writing and literature. He represented Uganda in the Poetry Parnassus as part of the Cultural Olympiad. The poem “Vista” was used as part of a video installation to promote the Turner prize in 2008 for Tate Remix. His poem Beatitude is the newest addition to Being Human the third book in the Staying Alive poetry trilogy. Staying Alive and its sequel Being Alive have introduced many thousands of new readers to contemporary poetry. His poem ‘From The King”, got shortlisted for the Coffee House Poetry Fourth Troubadour International Poetry Prize and his poem “Stone” has been shortlisted for the 2010 Arvon International Poetry competition.

As a resident artist of Spoke-Lab (Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Spoken Word development programme) he developed a one-man show “My Father & Other Superheroes” One man’s honest revelation of how pop culture raised him in the absence of his father. Nick has gone on to develop the show, working with an exciting creative team to take his work from the page into the performance space, exploring the relationship between poetry and theatre.

He uses poetry as a Rosetta stone and is keen to investigate the relationships between sounds and the meanings they convey through language. Moving through many tongues he has acquired a special sensitivity to this relationship. The loss of his mother tongue is what separates him from his heritage. This theme of loss is expressed in his new poetry collection. He was one of ten writers on a programme called The Complete Works: A national two year development programme for ten advanced Black and Asian poets. During the programme he has been mentored by eminent poet George Szirtes, both writers in exile. The Complete Works culminated in September of 2010 with an anthology “Ten”: New poets from Spread the Word `{`edited by MBE Bernardine Evaristo and Daljit Nagra`}` on Bloodaxe press. George Szirtes’s description of Nick’s poems offers an excellent insight:

NIMBLE FISH

Nimble Fish

Promotion

Created in 2006, Nimble Fish is led by Greg Klerkx and Samantha Holdsworth. Passionate about the potential for the arts as a catalyst for social change, Sam and Greg have evolved a unique method of working that focuses on the creation of high-quality artistic events via deep and meaningful community engagement.

http://nimble-fish.co.uk

BENJI REID

Benji Reid

Director

Benji Reid is a award winning creative producer, devisor and director. His Theatre performances have played to sell out audiences in the National Theatre Of England, Saddlers Wells, Sydney Opera House and Greenwich Village theatre New York He trained as a dancer with the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and as an actor with David Glass and Double Edge Theatre. Following his years as a freelance performer he formed BREAKING CYCLES.

Benji’s dance background includes; 1985 GLC Break-Dance Champions with Broken Glass Street Crew, European Body-Popping Champion and 2nd in the 1986 World
Dance Championships. In 1989 Benji worked with the legendary Soul II Soul as the main dancer and choreographer for their world tour, appearing on the Arsino Hall show and playing at the Soul Train Awards.

In theatre Benji has worked widely with such highly regarded companies as the David Glass Ensemble, Trestle Theatre, Theatr Clwyd and Black Mime Theatre. It was with Black Mime Theatre that Benji first became interested in directing.

In 2005 Benji received the NESTA Dreamtime Fellowship, awarded to prestigious artists for their outstanding achievements and continuing development and was also nominated for the Art05 award for his work in the North West of England.

www.benjireid.com

REVIEWS

On a dramatically lit, smoke filled stage, Nick Makoha conjours his childhood heroes. These are the mentors that taught him all the important things in life. The Hulk proved you could be tough but still control your anger, Batman taught him not to be afraid of the dark, Superman feared nothing but Kryptonite, Luke Skywalker…well, he just proved it was worth holding out in the long search for your dad.

Jo BeggsThe Public Reviews

fantastic piece of theatre. Described aptly as ‘one man’s honest revelation of how pop culture raised him in the absence of his father’, Makoha bravely confronts his personal struggle with abandonment and, in turn, questions the role of fatherhood in society. First and foremost, Makoha’s performance was raw and captivating.

Elisha OwenUniversity Of Birmingham

..takes a deeply personal approach to his work and examines his own experiences to create moving theatrical pieces.

Melissa RynnStageWon

PAST SHOWS

2009

Sep 9
Initial Scratch performed @ Spoke-Lab My Father & Other Superheroes
Stratford Theatre Royal, UK

2010

Sep 14
Open African History week, British Council
MS Innvik, NOR

2012

Feb 1-4
Midlands Art Centre
Birmingham, UK
Feb 23
The Albany
London, UK
Feb 29
ARC
Stockton, UK
Mar 6-7
Contact, Flying Solo Festival 2012
Manchester, UK
Oct 11-12
Ilkley Literature Festival
Bradford, UK

2013

Jan 31
Podium Mozaïek
Amsterdam, NL
Mar 1-2
Nottingham Playhouse
Nottingham, UK
May 31 - Jun 1
Southbank Centre
London, UK
Jun 16
Unicorn Theatre
London, UK

2014

Oct 17
Ilkley Literature Festival
Bradford, UK
Oct 24
Wales Millennium Centre
Cardiff, UK

2015

Jan 28
Stahl Theatre
Peterborough, UK
Feb 18
Brent Civic Centre and Library
London, UK
Mar 17
Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre
Bedfordshire, UK
Mar 19-22
Polka Theatre
London, UK
Apr 11
Carriageworks
Leeds, UK
May 29
New Art Exchange
Nottingham, UK
Jul 6
Soho Theatre
London, UK
Oct 2
Old Town Hall
Hertfordshire, UK
Oct 15
Pegasus Theatre,
Oxford, UK
Oct 18
Hillingdon Literary Festival
London, UK

2016

Jan 5
Bath Spa University
Somerset, UK
Nov 18
Theatre Row – United Solo Festival
New York, US

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