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Gbolahan Obisesan

Director, Writer

Gbolahan has been Genesis Fellow/Associate Director of the Young Vic Theatre and is currently writing an original feature, WE GET AROUND, for Emu Films/Film4.

He is also under commission to Eclipse Theatre Company, New Perspective and Isango Ensemble.

Whilst Associate Director at the Young Vic, Gbolahan directed Cuttin’it by Charlene James. The Play was a co production between Young Vic, Royal Court Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Sheffield Crucible and The Yard Theatre. Cuttin’it was nominated at the 2017 Olivier Awards for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre.

In 2016, Gbolahan wrote a short play Zaida and Aadam for the Bush Theatre as part of This Place We Know season of plays performed in surprising spaces on and off the Uxbridge Road. Gbolahan also wrote Re:Exhibit for Offstage Theatre and Theatre Uncut’s WALKING THE TIGHTROPE season, which was performed in the House of Commons.

Prior to that, Gbolahan directed a short film for the Royal Court/Guardian’s microplays season OFF THE PAGE, written by Rachel De-lahay and starring Anna Maxwell Martin and Liz White.

Gbolahan’s play, HOW NIGERIA BECAME: A STORY, AND A SPEAR THAT DIDN’T WORK, which he also directed, ran at the Unicorn Theatre in October 2014.

In early 2014 Gbolahan directed WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT…, written by Jackie Sibblies Drury, at the Bush Theatre. He also developed and directed a project with the Young Vic called THE WEB.

His stage adaptation of PIGEON ENGLISH, the novel by Stephen Kelman, opened at Bristol Old Vic in August 2013 before a run at the Edinburgh Festival, produced by Bristol Old Vic and The National Youth Theatre. His adaptation is being published by Methuen.

Gbolahan was one of the six writers and the only British writer on Rufus Norris’ FEAST, commissioned by the Royal Court and The Young Vic for their World Stages London which was produced at The Young Vic in February 2013.

Gbolahan’s play MAD ABOUT THE BOY, produced by Iron Shoes, directed by Ria Parry, ran at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011 and won a Fringe First for Best Play. The show then toured the UK, including performances at the Unicorn, the Bush and the Young Vic in London.

Gbolahan directed four plays as part of The Bush Theatre’s epic 66 BOOKS project which ran at the Bush and Westminster Abbey in 2011.

In 2010, SUS, a revival of Barrie Keefe’s play, directed by Gbolahan, ran at The Young Vic and had a successful UK tour, and garnered him the Jerwood Award for directing.

Gbolahan was awarded the Director in Residence at the National Theatre Studio as the recipient of the Bulldog Princep Director’s Bursary in 2008.

Gbolahan was resident director for the Royal National Theatre’s 2009 production of FELA! in the Olivier Theatre, Associate Director to Dominic Cooke for THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, and Greg Doran’s Associate Director for the RSC on JULIUS CAESAR.

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