Caro Meets Musicals & Opera Interview

Nwando Ebizie: The Passion Of Lady Vendredi

By | Published on Thursday 7 April 2016


I’m beyond keen to see ‘The Passion Of Lady Vendredi’, coming up shortly at Soho Theatre, because, well, it sounds totally brilliant. It has a really interesting premise, yet is the kind of thing that’s hard to categorise, falling somewhere between performance art, musical, theatre and gig.
To find out more about the show, I had a quick chat with its creator, Nwando Ebizie.

CM: Tell us about your creation Lady Vendredi. Who is she and what does she do?
NE: Lady Vendredi is my alter ego – a inter dimensional traveller, able to harness powers of Quantum entanglement whilst rapping killer bars.

CM: What can we expect from this performance?
NE: We’re going to take people on a journey transforming pain into beauty. It will be like descending into a club meets a ceremony meets theatre.

CM: Does ‘The Passion Of Lady Vendredi’ have a narrative, or is it more of an ‘experience’? Does it have particular points to make? What themes does it explore?
NE: There will be a mythic narrative that we will enact together – one of the characters is on a quest, one of the characters will be sacrificed, all will emerge changed. For the audience, there will be many options: the possibility of letting go and going through a transformative experience, the possibility of connecting to one another. People came out of our last show and mentioned meeting other audience members months after and feeling like they somehow knew one another because of a moment they shared.

CM: What genre would you say this show falls into, if any? Is it musical theatre? Performance art?
NE: You could say this is music theatre. To break it down further – it is a ritual performance art, a theatrical gig.

CM: How did you go about creating the show? What processes did you go through?
NE: We’ve been working on the show through various processes since 2012. This involved doing performance art gigs in gay clubs round East London, going to Berlin to conduct research with our Haitian dance teacher, making a music video with forty members of my family, developing performance research for an academic conference. All these different strands have built up a layered piece involving music, dance, performance art and experimental theatre.

CM: How did your collaboration with nitroBEAT come about? What has been their contribution to the show?
NE: nitroBEAT invited me to attend a show in Paris in 2014, which is where I met the Director, Diane Morgan, and we found we shared an interest in Afrofuturism. They have been supporting the development of the show for over a year as a co-producer – bringing Soho Theatre on board as a partner and through fundraising, marketing and audience development.

CM: You’re described as a DJ, actor, musician and Afrofuturistic performance artist. Do you devote equal time to all these different pursuits, or do they all blend together?
NE: They come and go in different phases as they are needed.

CM: What’s next for you? Any new projects in the planning stages?
NE: I’m going to do some research into Palinopsia – a rare neurological condition.

‘The Passion Of Lady Vendredi’ is on at Soho Theatre from 12-30 Apr. Follow this link here to find out more and book your tickets.

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