An interview with Natalie Ibu, Artistic Director of tiata fahodzi

An interview with Natalie Ibu, Artistic Director of tiata fahodzi
Natalie Ibu

8 January 2016

We’re delighted to introduce our new resident theatre company, tiata fahodzi, who kick off the Spring season with their heart-rending drama, i know all the secrets in my world. Director and writer, Natalie Ibu, reveals more…

What are you hoping to bring to Watford Palace now that you’re resident here?

As a national touring theatre company, it’s a real privilege to be able to call Watford Palace Theatre our home. We look forward to getting to know our audiences, testing new ideas and premièring brand new work here. Alison (General Manager) and I both live in Watford, so our audiences are also our neighbours, favourite coffee shop owners and fellow customers at the market. Our work is about what it means to be British today, so that what happens on stage mirrors the richness and diversity of what happens outside the theatre doors.

Your upcoming play i know all the secrets in my world toured the festivals last summer as a work-in-progress and received some amazing reviews. Can you tell us more?

i know all the secrets in my world is a story about what it is to love and to lose. It’s about a black father and son – like any father and son – simply living, loving and hurting. The story is enhanced by cultural specificity, but not defined by it. It’s a playful love letter, trying to find a language for the unspeakable. 

Where did the idea for a wordless play come from?

In 2008 I started thinking about a character who refused to speak. I was struck that 98% of communication is non-verbal, yet plays are usually about the spoken 2%. I wanted to explore the other 98% - the unsaid, the unspoken.

What else can audiences expect?

i know all the secrets in my world is as much about love as it is about loss, and as joyful as it is heart-breaking.

 

Interview by Sophie Sellars