Gbolahan Obisesan

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Gbolahan Obisesan
Alma materLondon Guildhall University
Notable work
Mad about the boy

Gbolahan Obisesan is an award-winning British Nigerian writer and director. He has served as a Genesis Fellow and Associate Director at the Young Vic.

Early life[edit]

Obisesan was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK when he was 9 years old.[1] 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.[2]


Obisesan has served as a writer, actor and director.[3] He won the Jerwood Directors Award from the Young Vic for Sus in 2010.[3] In 2011 Obisesan's play Mad About the Boy won the Fringe First for best play.[4] It was published by Nick Hern Books.[5] He directed four plays for epic 66 books at the Bush Theatre.[6] It went on to tour the Unicorn Theatre, Royal Court Theatre and Bush Theatre.[4] He was the only British writer for Rufus Norris's Feast at the Royal Court Theatre in 2013.[7] Obisesan adapted Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman for the Bristol Old Vic in 2013.[8] The production was taken to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it was described as "theatre made by young people, about young people, for everybody".[8] He wrote and directed How Nigeria Became: A Story, and A Spear That Didn't Work, which ran at the Unicorn Theatre in 2014.[9] The play commemorated the centenary of Nigeria and was nominated as one of the Best Productions for Young People in the OffWestEnd Theatre Awards.[9][10] He was made the Young Vic Genesis Fellow in 2015.[11][12]

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.[13][14] In 2017 it was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre.[15] His latest production, The Fishermen is an adaption of the novel by Chigozie Obioma.[16] It debuted at HOME theatre in Manchester, UK, in 2018.[17]

Directing and writing[edit]

2018 The Fishermen [17][18]

2016 Cuttin'it by Charlene James[19][20] (directed)

2016 Zaida and Aadam at the Bush Theatre[21]

2015 Re:Exhibit at the Bush Theatre[22]

2014 Off the Page at the Royal Court Theatre[23] (directed)

2014 How Nigeria Became: A Story, and A Spear That Didn't Work at the Unicorn Theatre[9]

2014 We are Proud to Present at the Bush Theatre[21] (directed)

2013 Pigeon English at the Bristol Old Vic[8]

2013 Feast at the Royal Court Theatre[23]

2011 Mad About the Boy for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe[24][4]

2011 Sus at the Young Vic[25]


  1. ^ "Obisesan; Gbolahan | BPA". Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  2. ^ "Interview with Open Door founder David Mumeni | There's a place in this industry for everyone | National Youth Theatre". Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  3. ^ a b "Gbolahan Obisesan - Royal Court". Royal Court. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  4. ^ a b c Obisesan, Gbolahan (2012). Mad About The Boy. Mad About the Boy. doi:10.5040/9781784602932.00000002. ISBN 9781784602932.
  5. ^ Oladipo., Obisesan (2010). Living without AIDS. AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781452006536. OCLC 610166174.
  6. ^ Able, Sane and. "Gbolahan Obisesan - The Agency". The Agency. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  7. ^ "Feast (Young Vic) - Royal Court". Royal Court. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  8. ^ a b c "Pigeon English". Twisted Theatre. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  9. ^ a b c "How Nigeria Became: A story, and a spear that didn't work - Unicorn Theatre". Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  10. ^ "Interview: Gbolahan Obisesan, Director, 'We Are Proud...'". Whats On Africa. 2014-02-24. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  11. ^ "Nick Hern Books | About Gbolahan Obisesan". Nick Hern Books. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  12. ^ "Young Vic appoints director Gbolahan Obisesan as new fellow | News | The Stage". The Stage. 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  13. ^ "CUTTIN' IT". Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  14. ^ "Cuttin' It directed by Young Vic Genesis Fellow Gbolahan Obisesan". Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  15. ^ "Here - The Royal Court Theatre". Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  16. ^ "The Fishermen - HOME". HOME. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  17. ^ a b "Production details". Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  18. ^ newperspectivesTV (2018-08-02), The Fishermen Trailer Edinburgh (2018), retrieved 2018-08-11
  19. ^ Gardner, Lyn (2016-05-31). "Cuttin' It review – streetwise drama evolves into fierce FGM statement". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  20. ^ "Cuttin' It". Young Vic website. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  21. ^ a b "Zaida and Aadam". Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  22. ^ Dickson, Andrew (2015-01-27). "Walking the Tightrope review – playlets that probe politics and art". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  23. ^ a b 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.
  24. ^ "Mad About the Boy". Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  25. ^ Billington, Michael (2010-06-10). "Theatre review | Sus | Young Vic, London | Michael Billington". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-08-11.