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African-Irish theater company to perform at DeBartolo

Author: Arts and Letters


“The Kings of the Kilburn High Road,” a play by Jimmy Murphy, will be presented by Arambe Productions of Dublin on Oct. 16 and 17 (Tuesday and Wednesday) at 8p.m. in the Decio Mainstage Theatre of the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts.

Admission is $15 for the general public, $12 for faculty and staff, $10 for all students and senior citizens. Tickets are available in advance at the University’s DeBartolo Center ticket office, or by calling 574-631-2800 or at on the Web.

The play concerns a group of Irish exiles who flee their homeland to seek success and prosperity in England. It takes place on the day that the group reunites 27 years later in a London bar to drink to the memory of one of their dead comrades and to take stock of their past lives, shattered hopes and the plight of their native country.

A unique feature of the Notre Dame performance of this play about the fortunes and misfortunes of Irish emigrants is that the Arambe version features an all-African cast.

Arambe Productions takes its name from a Yoruba saying, “aram be ti mo fe da” (there are wonders that I want to perform) and from the Swahili word “harambee” meaning “work together.” The African-Irish company was founded in 2003 by Nigerian performance artist Bisi Adigun to give members of Ireland’s African communities an opportunity to express themselves on the theatrical stage.

The play is a component of the “Race and Immigration in the New Ireland” conference hosted from Oct. 14 to 17 by Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies.

Originally published by Michael O. Garvey at on October 10, 2007.