Stage: Tayo Aluko returns to Brighton Fringe with his new play Just An Ordinary Lawyer. Andrew Kay won’t miss out this time


In May Brighton is alive with theatre and performance and, well all kinds of artistic endeavour, so much that it is often hard to choose what to see. A few years back I failed to catch Tayo Aluko at Latest Musicbar in his award winning show Call Mr. Robeson. It was a massive mistake and one that I have long regretted.

Liverpool-based, Nigerian-born architect-turned-actor Tayo Aluko has been to the Brighton Fringe just twice, with that one man show, Call Mr. Robeson. In 2008, he won both the Argus Angel Award for Artistic Excellence and the Best Male Performance and in 2016 he won the Theatre Review Outstanding Show Award.

Now I have another chance to catch this performer as he is back with a brand new show which has already garnered rave reviews since its premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, and is proving to be a hit in national and international venues.

Just An Ordinary Lawyer tells the story of Nigerian Tunji Sowande, as he quietly breaks through multiple barriers to become Britain’s first Black judge in 1978. Also a fine concert singer and keen cricket lover, he muses on international politics and history as they affect the Black world from Africa to the USA and Britain, from the point of view of one who would rather watch sports, and spread love and peace through the medium of song. Recalling heroic sporting achievements alongside epoch-defining political events, this follows the multi-award-winning Call Mr. Robeson with another “brilliantly put together history lesson delivered as art.”

With accompaniment from Worthing pianist Lyndsey Lee, this play promises to be one of the highlights of the Marlborough Theatre’s Fringe programme. It has also recently been selected as a rare British contribution to the forthcoming National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the USA.

The story of Nigerian Tunji Sowande, as he quietly breaks through multiple barriers to become Britain’s first Black judge

The reviewer from One4Review found it “immensely enjoyable” at its premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe last August. Michael Billington of the Guardian gave it four stars at London’s Theatro Technis, describing it as “a fascinating show”.

Aluko said: “Brighton has lots of good memories for me. I have always had a great reception when performing here during the Fringe and on other occasions, and I have quite a few great friends living here. I’m really looking forward to sharing some more world history on stage there.”

Just An Ordinary Lawyer: A Play, With Songs
Written and performed by Tayo Aluko, with piano accompaniment by Lyndsey Lee.
Saturday & Sunday June 3 & 4, 2017, 9pm
The Marlborough Theatre
4 Prince’s St, Brighton BN2 1RD
0800 411 8881

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