|Alma mater||London Guildhall University|
|Mad about the boy|
Obisesan was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK when he was 9 years old. He grew up in Bermondsey and New Cross. He attended Southwark College, where he earned a BTech in Communication in 2000. He completed his Bachelor's degree at London Guildhall University and was involved with the National Youth Theatre.
Obisesan has served as a writer, actor and director. He won the Jerwood Directors Award from the Young Vic for Sus in 2010. In 2011 Obisesan's play Mad About the Boy won the Fringe First for best play. It was published by Nick Hern Books. He directed four plays for epic 66 books at the Bush Theatre. It went on to tour the Unicorn Theatre, Royal Court Theatre and Bush Theatre. He was the only British writer for Rufus Norris's Feast at the Royal Court Theatre in 2013. Obisesan adapted Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman for the Bristol Old Vic in 2013. The production was taken to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it was described as "theatre made by young people, about young people, for everybody". He wrote and directed How Nigeria Became: A Story, and A Spear That Didn't Work, which ran at the Unicorn Theatre in 2014. The play commemorated the centenary of Nigeria and was nominated as one of the Best Productions for Young People in the OffWestEnd Theatre Awards. He was made the Young Vic Genesis Fellow in 2015.
In 2016 Obisesan directed Charlene James's Cuttin', which premiered at the Young Vic before touring to Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Crucible Theatre and London's Yard Theatre. In 2017 it was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre. His latest production, The Fishermen is an adaption of the novel by Chigozie Obioma. It debuted at HOME theatre in Manchester, UK, in 2018.
Obisesan was made artistic director at the Brixton House (formerly Ovalhouse) theatre in 2020. In the wake of the George Floyd murder and the associated protests, Obisesan called for British theatre to become more inclusive. At the time, less than 5% of London theatre employees were black and minority ethnic, whilst the population of London are 40%. In an interview with The Guardian, Obisesan said, “perpetuating whiteness across institutions and organisations can no longer be the norm,”.
Directing and writing
- 2020 The Mountaintop
- 2019 The Last King of Scotland (directed)
- 2019 Yvette (directed)
- 2019 Random (directed)
- 2019 SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill (directed)
- 2018 The Fishermen
- 2016 Cuttin'it by Charlene James (directed)
- 2016 Zaida and Aadam at the Bush Theatre
- 2015 Re:Exhibit at the Bush Theatre
- 2014 Off the Page at the Royal Court Theatre (directed)
- 2014 How Nigeria Became: A Story, and A Spear That Didn't Work at the Unicorn Theatre
- 2014 We are Proud to Present at the Bush Theatre (directed)
- 2013 Pigeon English at the Bristol Old Vic
- 2013 Feast at the Royal Court Theatre
- 2011 Mad About the Boy for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
- 2011 Sus at the Young Vic
- "Obisesan; Gbolahan | BPA". www.blackplaysarchive.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Gbolahan Obisesan: 'You have to give the story to the people'". the Guardian. 2019-09-25. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
- "Interview with Open Door founder David Mumeni | There's a place in this industry for everyone | National Youth Theatre". www.nyt.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Gbolahan Obisesan - Royal Court". Royal Court. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- Obisesan, Gbolahan (2012). Mad About The Boy. Mad About the Boy. doi:10.5040/9781784602932.00000002. ISBN 9781784602932.
- Oladipo., Obisesan (2010). Living without AIDS. AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781452006536. OCLC 610166174.
- Able, Sane and. "Gbolahan Obisesan - The Agency". The Agency. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Feast (Young Vic) - Royal Court". Royal Court. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Pigeon English". Twisted Theatre. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "How Nigeria Became: A story, and a spear that didn't work - Unicorn Theatre". www.unicorntheatre.com. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Interview: Gbolahan Obisesan, Director, 'We Are Proud...'". Whats On Africa. 2014-02-24. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Nick Hern Books | About Gbolahan Obisesan". Nick Hern Books. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Young Vic appoints director Gbolahan Obisesan as new fellow | News | The Stage". The Stage. 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "CUTTIN' IT". Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Cuttin' It directed by Young Vic Genesis Fellow Gbolahan Obisesan". www.genesisfoundation.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Here - The Royal Court Theatre". studylib.net. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "The Fishermen - HOME". HOME. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Production details". www.newperspectives.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- Urban, Mike (2020-03-05). "Ovalhouse Theatre announce name change to Brixton House, and appoint new artistic director, Gbolahan Obisesan". Brixton Buzz. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
- "Congratulations to Gbolahan Obisesan, new Artistic Director of Brixton House, formerly Ovalhouse". Alfred Fagon Award. 2020-03-06. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
- "Interview: Ovalhouse Theatre's artistic director Gbolahan Obisesan on Brixton's 'startling stories' | SWLondoner". South West Londoner. 2020-03-29. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
- Contributor (2020-07-02). "Brixton House director joins call for anti-racist theatres". Brixton Blog. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
- "Gbolahan Obisesan: give BAME talent trust and theatre will thrive". the Guardian. 2020-06-09. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
- "SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill review – tragic history stunningly sung". the Guardian. 2018-07-06. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
- newperspectivesTV (2018-08-02), The Fishermen Trailer Edinburgh (2018), retrieved 2018-08-11
- Gardner, Lyn (2016-05-31). "Cuttin' It review – streetwise drama evolves into fierce FGM statement". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Cuttin' It". Young Vic website. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Zaida and Aadam". www.bushtheatre.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- Dickson, Andrew (2015-01-27). "Walking the Tightrope review – playlets that probe politics and art". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- office, GNM press (2014-11-17). "Guardian and Royal Court announce Off the Page - a unique series of 'microplays' uniting journalism and theatre". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Mad About the Boy". www.bushtheatre.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- Billington, Michael (2010-06-10). "Theatre review | Sus | Young Vic, London | Michael Billington". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-08-11.