Hackney Showroom release rehearsal images for the world première of for all the women who thought they were Mad by Zawe Ashton. Associate Director of Hackney Showroom’s Jo McInnes directs Layo-Christina Akinlude (Angela), Mina Andala (Joy), Jennifer Dixon (Kim), Joy Elias-Rilwan (Margaret), Jumoké Fashola (Ruth), Michael Fitzgerald (Boss/Doctor), Janet Kumah (Rose), with Elena Coleman, Chiamara Nwosu and Rae Ann Quayle sharing the role of Nambi. The production opens at Stoke Newington Town Hall on 17 October, with previews from 14 October, and runs until 9 November – marking Hackney Showroom’s a new partnership with the London Borough of Hackney to bring theatre to Stoke Newington Town Hall.
“they like to see us fall
to slip on branches full of fruit we have not tasted”
we know ourselves to be natural and complete
carved from rock that floats
but we should still be careful what we wish for
some of us can sink in the upstream”
Zawe Ashton is an actor and writer. Her playwriting credits include Harm’s Way, Skunk and She from the Sea. As an actor, her theatre credits include Betrayal (Harold Pinter Theatre – and the current Broadway run at Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre), The Maids (Trafalgar Studios), Splendour (Donmar Warehouse), Gone too Far!, Rhinoceros, The Arsonists (Royal Court Theatre), and Othello and The Frontline (Shakespeare’s Globe). Her television credits include Wanderlust, Guerrilla, Fresh Meat and Not Safe for Work; and for film, Velvet Buzzsaw, Greta, Nocturnal Animals, Dreams of a Life and St Trinian’s: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold. Ashton’s debut novel, Character Breakdown, was published this year.
Layo-Christina Akinlude plays Angela. Her theatre credits include The Actor’s Nightmare (Park Theatre), The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives (Arcola Theatre), As You Like It (UK tour), After the Dance (Theatre by the Lake), and The Taming of The Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe). Her television credits include The Prince Story: Icon, Genius…Slave; and for film, Rocks and The Last Tree.
Jennifer Dixon plays Kim. Her theatre credits include Willow (Bunker Theatre); and for television, Brain in Gear.
Joy Elias-Rilwan plays Margaret. Her theatre credits include Hamlet (Tara Arts), Some Other Mother (Traverse Theatre), High Life (Hampstead Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (The Albany), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (National Theatre), Yerma (Arcola Theatre), Ritual (Donmar Warehouse), The Billie Holiday Show (Royal Court Theatre), Tewodros (Arts Theatre), and Anowa (Gate Theatre). Her film credits include The Secret Laughter of Women and Ama.
Jumoké Fashola plays Ruth. Her theatre credits include Lost in the Stars, Mass (Southbank Centre), The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives (Arcola Theatre) and House of Corrections (Riverside Studios). In addition, she has written and appeared in one woman shows including Dirty Little Secrets (London Festival of Cabaret/Bush Theatre’s Radar Festival/St James Theatre), and Protest – Divas & Revolutions (EFG London Jazz Festival/Royal Albert Hall/The Pheasantry). She also created Jazz Verse Jukebox which had a seven-year residency at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, and is now running monthly at Hoxton Hall. Fashola is also a radio and television broadcaster, currently presenting J to Z on BBC Radio 3 and Inspirit on BBC Radio London.
Michael Fitzgerald plays Boss/Doctor. His theatre credits include Innocence (Arcola Theatre), Donkeys’ Years (Comedy Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (Bristol Old Vic), Becket (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Bombing People (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Invention of Love, The Madness of George III (National Theatre), The Tempest (Nottingham Playhouse/international tour), Vieux Carre (Nottingham Playhouse), Peer Gynt (Barbican/international tour), Richard III, Anthony and Cleopatra, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, The Swan Down Gloves (RSC), and A Christmas Carol, The Importance of Being Earnest, If Your Glad, I’ll be Frank, The Real Inspector Hound, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, (Young Vic). His television credits include Maigret’s Dead Man, Borgia, Whitechapel, The Infinite Words of H.G. Wells, The Choir and Heart of Darkness; and for film, The Bookshop, The Marriage of Reason & Squalor, Chromophobia, Kingdom of Heaven and Love Actually.
Janet Kumah plays Rose. Her theatre credits include Anguis (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Room (Theatre Royal Stratford East/Abbey Theatre Dublin), The Winter’s Tale (Royal Lyceum Theatre), After Orlando (The Vaults), Simpatico (Tabard Theatre), Rites (National Theatre of Scotland/UK tour), Snakes and Ladders (Arcola Theatre/UK tour), Hero (Leicester Square Theatre), The Bodyguard (Adelphi Theatre), Dancing in the Streets (Aldwych Theatre/Playhouse Theatre), Fame (UK tour), The Official Tribute To The Blues Brothers (European tour), The Wild Party (Union Theatre), and Those Who Trespass Against Us (Hackney Empire); and for television, Dark Heart.
Jo McInnes directs. Her theatre credits include Valhalla (Theatre503), 36 Phone Calls (Hampstead Theatre), Another Place (Theatre Royal Plymouth), I Can Hear You, This Is Not An Exit (RSC/Royal Court Theatre), Vera Vera Vera, Red Bud (Royal Court Theatre), Marine Parade (Brighton Festival), and Christmas (Brighton Festival/Bush Theatre). She is an Associate Director of Hackney Showroom and was previously Artistic Director of New Writing South.
Supported by Arts Council England, Wellcome Trust and Cockayne Foundation.