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Bisi Adigun

Bisi Adigun has lived in Ireland for 17 years and he's married to Kate, a fine Mayo woman (one of the many links De jimbe have to Mayo in the west of Ireland) with whom he is blessed with a daughter, Arinola. He holds a B.A and M.A (Hons) in Drama Studies; an M.A (Hons) in Film & TV; and, in April 2013, completed his Ph.D programme in Drama studies in the School of Drama, Film and Music Trinity College, Dublin.

Bisi is a performing artist, an academic and has also co-presented the first three series of Mono, RTE's flagship television programme on intercultural Ireland. He wrote his first major play Moremi: the Goddess, which he also directed, for Waterford Youth Drama Ireland in 2000.

In 2003, Bisi founded Arambe Productions, Ireland's first African theatre company (www.arambeproductions.com) of which he is the artistic director. For the company, he has written and directed African Voices (2003), Once Upon A Time (a selection of African moon-lit stories) and Not So Long Ago (a dramatisation of experiences of African immigrants in Ireland (2005), co-written The New Playboy of the Western World in (2006), which had its world premiere at the Abbey Theatre in 2007.

Also for Arambe, he has produced and directed The Gods Are Not To Blame (2004), Jimmy Murphy's The Kings of the Kilburn High Road with an all-African cast (2006 and 2007), Ama Ata Aidoo's The Dilemma of Ghost (2007), Through A Film Darkly by JC De Graft (2008), and The Butcher Babes.

In 2009, Bisi wrote Haba Pastor Jero!, an adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s The Trials of Brother Jero, which he directed for a two week-run at the Samuel Beckett Theatre in Trinity College, Dublin. He subsequently travelled to Nigeria on an Arts Council of Ireland grant for a production at the Main Auditorium in UNILAG and the National Theatre Iganmu, Lagos, Nigeria.

In 2010, Bisi wrote and directed Home, Sweet Home based on Jimmy Murphy’s powerful emigration play, The Kings of the Kilburn High Road to mark Nigeria’s 50th Independence anniversary at the MUSON Arts Festival in Lagos.

As a musician, Bisi is proficient in many aspects of traditional drumming including congas, djembe and talking drum which he learnt at an early age in school and at home in Nigeria. He joined De jimbe in 1997 and had the wonderful opportunity to play with the band for more than five years nationally and internationally. For instance he, played for the ESB Millennium Drum Carnival in 1999 travelling to all the counties in Ireland with the biggest drum in the world initiated by De-Jimbe founder Brian Fleming; and he also played at the Expo 2000 in Hanover Germany, in New York, Korea and Senegal. Bisi has also played in the Point Theatre with The Pogues, Ronnie Drew and The Dubliners and has also played with the traditional Irish group Whirlygig.

In the mid to late 1990s, Bisi gave workshop – in African percussion, dance and storytelling – to schools and community groups and in arts centres all over Ireland, in the UK and America. As an actor, he has performed extensively in Britain, Ireland and America with companies such as (in UK) Pan Centre for Intercultural Arts, Sakoba Dance Company, Ritual Arts, Badejo Arts, Adzido and (in Ireland) Pan Pan, Fishamble, Galloglass, Calypso, Bedrock and Tall Tales theatre companies and Everyman's Palace Theatre in Cork and (in America) California-based Oriki Theatre and Nelson Mandela Theatre in Ohio.

Bisi's (new) favourite quote is “It is the choices that we make not the chances that we take that determine our destiny”. (Anonymous)

His philosophy is 'if you can talk, you can sing; if you can walk, you can dance; and if you've got a heartbeat, you've got rhythm.'

When Bisi is not busy, he is busy playing badminton.

© De Jimbe & Padraic Lavin 2013. Hosted by ForumCo