A BRADFORD actor says receiving a grant from the Arts Council is set to help further her career.

Kafayat Adegoke, who has appeared in a host of TV dramas including the BBC’s Years and Years and worked with 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen, has been handed a grant from the Arts Council after a successful application.

It is part of the organisation’s Developing Your Creative Practice, a fund which supports creative practitioners thinking of taking their work to the next stage.

It can also be used by successful applicants to create new work, to network and help with mentoring. The grants range between £2,000 and £10,000.


Kafayat was one of 1,300 applicants across the UK given funds through round nine of the scheme, handed to people across the arts and part of £25 million invested by the Arts Council in the nine rounds of funding so far.

She is looking to further bolster her career after performing a one-woman show she wrote herself in front of a live audience last month.

Per-So-Na saw Kafayat take to the stage at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre as part of the prestigious venue’s Together Season Festival.

She played Apinke, a not-so-typical Yorùba Nigerian girl who moves to Bradford to escape her homeland and the expectations of how women and girls should behave there.

The confident character vows to go against these stereotypes and the performance also explored themes including sexuality.

She is now in talks to reprise this role for a week-long run at South London’s Fringe venue by the end of this summer.

She said: “It’s amazing. It’s a massive launchpad for me.

“The grant will go towards facilitating exposure for myself. It is a big grant I have received.

“With this grant I can now pay people to collaborate with. I will be able to work with people I want to.

“I have high hopes that this funding will transport my career to a where I want it to be.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford actor Kafayat Adegoke Bradford actor Kafayat Adegoke

“This is a massive recognition for me from the Arts Council.

“I love to be shocking with my work and for people to see it to think ‘what did I just see?’

“I want to have a style and how I make my work. It’s a style coined around me and it always stemmed from my living experiences.”

Kafayat reflected on her return to live stage work at Sheffield’s Crucible theatre.

She added: “It was a great buzz being back in front of a live audience. I am full of gratitude.

“The Crucible main stage is massive and it was great to perform there.”

She has received support from a Bradford theatre group, based at the University of Bradford.

Kafayat said: “Theatre in the Mill makes me feel like I’m worth a gazillion dollars, with the way they give me the opportunity to explore my creative ideas.

“Their support gave me the breathing space and time that’s so needed amidst the pandemic, to help me stay afloat and to continue work on my current practises.

“I must commend them in recognising this vital need for artists at such a challenging time.

“ Theatre in the Mill seems to align with the ethos that artistic responses can challenge a narrative, provoke deeper conversation and capture the mood of a community in the moment.”