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A Young Vic Film

Filmed at the Young Vic, starring community performer, Olu Adaeze, Zodwa Nyoni’s monologue explores fighting for your right to live in this country.

On Belonging (Manchester)

Cast & Creatives

Written by Zodwa Nyoni

Starring Olu Adaeze

Director Daniel Bailey

Filmmakers Tristan Shepherd & Andrew Muir

Producers Nadia Latif & Imogen Brodie

Executive Producers Kwame Kwei-Armah & Despina Tsatsas

Jerwood Assistant Director Floriana Dezou

Runner Patrick Ellis

Zodwa Nyoni is a playwright and poet based in Leeds. As winner of the Channel 4 Playwright’s Scheme she was Writer-in-Residence at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.  She was part of the Manchester Royal Exchange’s New Stages writing initiative and participated in the 2015 iWrite Regional New Writing Initiative with Creative England.  She is currently under commission at London’s Kiln Theatre and LAMDA. Theatre includes: Ode to Leeds (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Weathered Estates (City of Culture 2017/Hull University); Borderline (Young Vic ‘5 Plays’ season); Sister (Ilkley & Beverley Literature Festivals); Nine Lives (Leeds Studio - UK Tour, Oran Mor & West Yorkshire Playhouse); Boi Boi Is Dead (a finalist for the 2015 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize West Yorkshire Playhouse, Tiata Fahodzi & Watford Palace Theatre); A Letter To You (Manchester Royal Exchange); Tangled Roots (Trinity Arts & DePaul University, Chicago); Come to Where I’m From (Paines Plough, Drum Theatre, Plymouth and WYP); The Night Shift (Young Writers’ Scheme, WYP / BBC Writer’s Room) and The Povo Die Till Freedom Comes (Square Chapel & The Bush Theatre). Radio includes: Love Again - Sonnets in the City (read by Maxine Peake - BBC / BBC Philharmonic).

Olu Adaeze began performing after volunteering in a school for excluded students in 2006, where she would sometimes help out with their community drama group. Olu had no idea that anything vaguely creative was or could be an actual profession. She began sporadically attending free workshops and short courses from 2011. With no clear understanding of what path to take, tackling immigration issues and homelessness - Olu did not know what it would lead to. She was shocked when she discovered she had got her first 'job' as an actor on a low budget film; there were meetings, terms she had to agree to, contracts she had to sign, a screening and payment she was very surprised she was being offered - all for something she enjoyed but barely knew existed. In 2016, she won the Joseph Millson Bursary at the Actors Centre and in the same year best actress in a webseries at the Screen Nation Digital Media Awards. Olu is now currently a final year student at the Independent Centre for Actor Training. Some of her credits include No Exit (Clapham Omnibus); See You at the End (Theatre 503); Trellick Tales (BBC); Rise (The Old Vic); The Go Between (The Young Vic); Rhapsody of the Killjoy (RADA Festival); The Procurement Department (Bunker Theatre); The Flower, The Tree and The Moon (Bunker Theatre); Zombiegate (Theatre Royal Haymarket). 

Daniel Bailey is an Associate Director at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, previously Resident Assistant as part of the Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme (RTYDS). Previous Residencies: Associate Artist at Theatre Royal Stratford East, National Theatre Studio and Finborough Theatre. 

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