BRADFORD performer Kafayat Adegoke is breaking new ground with her latest role.

Nigerian-born Kafayat takes on the role as narrator in ‘The Lonely Society’ and says it is the first time she has taken on the part of a white woman.

“I am a black woman playing a white woman who has had a really fantastic life; very active, very fun. She is extrovert but started having health issues and now she is in a wheelchair,” she explains, referring to Libby Beckett-Wrighton who will play herself in the play produced by Leeds-based Common Chorus Theatre Company.

In the play, which focuses on issues such as mental and loneliness, Kafayat narrates Libby’s story. “I am doing all the dramatic bits,” explains Kafayat.

For Kafayat, the play touches on issues she is passionate about. She says mental health and loneliness impacts on people in so many ways. “It’s really touching for me, the way it impacts on society.”

Loneliness can effect anyone, at any age and at any time in their lives. While it is often associated with older people, young people can also be lonely. “It’s possible to have one million people around you and still feel lonely,” says Kafayat.

Kafayat explains the production aims to prompt discussion too. “It’s going to be a performance and discussion, it’s going to be interactive and people will have conversations because they are encouraging people to watch the show and actually talk about it.”

The show runs on February 22 and 23 at Stainbeck Hall, Leeds.

Kafayat’s previous credits include her recent one-woman show ‘Per-so-na’ about a young Yoruba Nigerian girl at The Tetley Art Gallery, Leeds and she is also appearing in a forthcoming BBC drama.

Kafayat also helped to tell the story of life in Leeds when she was one of the performers in ‘Searching for the Heart of Leeds’ - the final production before the capital redevelopment of the city’s Quarry Theatre.

At the time Kafayat, who honed her acting skills in her native Nigeria, credited it as the most ‘iconic’ performance she had participated in since she began acting at the age of 16.


Sally Clifford