Adebayo Bolaji

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Adebayo Bolaji
Native name Adebayo Tibabalase Bolaji
Born (1983-05-15) 15 May 1983 (age 33)
Perivale, England
Residence London, England
Nationality British
Occupation Actor, Painter, Writer & Director
Notable work Ghost The Musical, Skyfall, The Colour Purple, The Scottsboro Boys

Adebayo Bolaji (born 15 May 1983) is a London-based actor, writer and director.

Early life[edit]

Adebayo Tibabalase Bolaji was born in Perivale in the London Borough of Ealing, of Nigerian parents and is an English actor, writer and director. Bolaji began his acting career when he was 14 with the National Youth Music Theatre making his West End debut in their 1997 production of Bugsy Malone at the Queen's Theatre.[1] With NYMT he performed at the Edinburgh Festival three times, in Tokyo, at the Palace Theatre and the Lyceum Theatre in the West End.


Bolaji graduated from London Guildhall University with a degree in Law but went on to train at the Central School of Speech and Drama.[2]

Career as an Actor[edit]

Bolaji originated the role of the Subway Ghost[3] in the award-winning Ghost the Musical, directed by Matthew Warchus and produced by Colin Ingram. Music and lyrics written by Eurythmics' frontman, Dave Stewart and the Grammy award-winning Glen Ballard. Bolaji appeared in Skyfall[4] directed by the Oscar-winning Sam Mendes, as one of the henchmen of Silva, played by Javier Bardem and was also cast[5] in Tom Hooper's movie version of Les Misérables[6] but had to withdraw due to film schedule conflicts.

In May 2013, Bolaji was cast in the Menier Chocolate Factory's production of The Colour Purple[7] and the Young Vic's production of Susan Stroman's London premiere[8] of The Scottsboro Boys.

Career as Painter, Director & Writer[edit]

Bolaji's first play Ugly Butterflies[9] was performed at the Central School of Speech and Drama while still in training. Bolaji's second play, In Bed[10], was written and produced at The Questors Theatre with Ex Nihilo,[11] the theatre company he set up in 2009.

Bolaji is a self-taught artist and came to work with the medium of paint later on in his acting career. His work as a painter was originally influenced by the likes of Francis Bacon, Dubuffet and Jean-Michel Basquiat, working mainly with acrylic, oil and oil stick. In his own words:

"Painting for me, can very much be like improvisation or devising in the theatre. One puts an idea of a kind down and one responds (truthfully) to it ... It's a constant conversation a visual dialogue with the subject matter always at the centre, until one arrives at the image which arguably has always been there since, I am always asking myself what is necessary ... Or responding honestly (as best as I can) to each part. Consequently, I arrive at the final image and know my part of the conversation is done, it's now left for others to view it and have their own opinion/dialogue ... Irrespective of mine."[12]

In 2016 Bolaji was chosen as Tangle's commissioned artist for Yinka Shonibare's MBE renowned Guest Projects Space,[13] in Hackney London, for emerging artists, subsequently Bolaji was selected to show his works at long standing contemporary gallery Galerie Proarta,[14] in Zürich Switzerland.

Personal life[edit]

Bolaji currently lives in North London and is a lover of poetry and also a percussionist.



  1. ^ "National Youth Music Theatre". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Central School of Speech and Drama" (PDF). Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Subway Ghost". London Theatreland. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Skyfall". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "cast". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Les Misérables (2012 film)
  7. ^ "The Colour Purple". Menier Chocolate Factory. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "London premiere". Young Vic. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ugly Butterflies". The Art Solution. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "In Bed". Questors Theatre. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Ex Nihilo". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Adébayo Bolaji | Facebook". Retrieved 2016-12-16. 
  13. ^ Theatre, Tangle. "Tangle's 2016 Art Commission by Adébayo Bolaji | Tangle | African & Caribbean Theatre". Retrieved 2016-12-16. 
  14. ^ "Adébayo Bolaji". Unidivers (in French). Retrieved 2016-12-16. 

External links[edit]