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In Conversation: Faith Omole

From building a chosen family with the ‘We Are Lady Parts’ cast to being in the rehearsal room for her new production ‘My Father’s Fable’, The Floor Mag sat down with Faith Omole at Bush Theatre. 

When I get to Bush Theatre members of Faith Omole’s team are just settling down for lunch- they’re quiet and contemplative, as they eat Tesco meal deals and packed lunch tupperwares. 

Behind them on the last of a bank of desks sits Faith Omole, writer of new production ‘My Father’s Fable’. 

Omole’s Bush debut comes off the back of winning the Alfred Fagon award for her play ‘Kaleidoscope’ in 2023, and she’s no stranger to being on stage herself, having played Joy in the National Theatre’s award-winning ‘Standing At the Sky’s Edge’. 

But it's her recent reprisal as Bisma in the Channel 4 series ‘We Are Lady Parts’ I’m keen to start our conversation with, “That group of girls,” she gushes, “literally chosen family, they are the most amazing, stupidly talented, most inspirational, most supportive…” 

Omole also mentions that she met the cast during the pandemic for the first time, ‘We Are Lady Parts’ was originally a pilot in 2018 which then was commissioned for a full series and filmed during the pandemic. It’s also the same period of time that Omole began writing what would eventually become ‘My Father’s Fable’. 

Four people in a living room setting, one mad sits on a sofa and other woman on a chair. The final two people are sat at a dining table
Rakie Ayola as Favour, Theo Ogundipe as Bolu, Tiwa Lade as Peace and Gabriel Akuwudike as Roy | Photo by Manuel Harlan

A story of a family and its secrets; ‘My Father’s Fable’ follows Peace (Tiwa Lade) as she deals with the aftermath of her father’s passing through the discovery of her half-brother, Bolu (Theo Ogundipe). As Peace invites Bolu to England there are questions about his intentions and his past but is this sense of new found family enough to override the grief Peace feels?

There’s an honesty and vulnerability to this work being out in the world Omole tells me, “I've always been obsessed with stories, but for some reason, when I got older, and as I auditioned to go into drama schools, I started to think, ‘Oh, I must put things away in order for this industry to accept me.’ And so acting must become my only focus.” 

Omole felt unfulfilled in her creative journey and when she unleashed her voice back onto the world she realised that she was ‘holding in so many stories’. She also comments on the fact that she’s often felt that trying to do more than one thing as a woman can often be seen as intimidating to the world, but now she’s letting her voice run free. 

Like many people, Omole had the natural human reaction of being scared of rejection, but she understood that not everything had to be understood by everyone, as the phrase goes it just takes a single person to say yes. 

“Once I stopped letting the fear of rejection stop me, and I actually think this was as an artist in all forms, because I actually think it informed me as an actor as well. It informed me as a singer, as an actor, as everything. I so wanted to get everything right, that I was kind of middle ground in everything. I actually think that a lot of people saw me before I was able to see myself, and then I had to accept everything I wanted to say and everything I wanted to do, and it unlocked something.” 

That something has trickled into the rehearsal room at the Bush; it’s touched everyone involved in this production and a sentiment that’s not gone unnoticed by Omole. 

In the rehearsal room it’s not just “one voice anymore, it’s many voices”, she states. “It's a director speaking, it's a lighting designer speaking, it's a sound designer speaking, it's a composer speaking, it's an actor, speaking. It’s all of us speaking into this thing, you know, and that's just because I stopped being scared.” 

two men in a kitchen, the man on the left (Roy) is holding a beer, he's smiling. The other man is perched on a kitchen table (Bolu), he looks shocked
(L to R) Gabriel Akuwudike as Roy and Theo Ogundipe as Bolu | Photo by Manuel Harlan

There’s literally no time to be scared in a space like Bush Theatre, a long-standing haven for new and emerging talent, often of colour. It's championed new writing for years and it’s pushed Omole to deepen her craft, through its open mindset and desire to build together. 

On building together, talk turns to the casting process for ‘My Father’s Fable’. Olissa Rodgers CDG (or as she’s affectionately known by the team, Major Rodgers, for her organised nature) serves as the show’s Casting Director and eventually the four cast members were selected in Rakie Ayola, Gabriel Akuwudkie and the aforementioned Theo and Tiwa. 

“They all kind of hold something of the play in them,” Omole states frankly. Her writing touches on “the immigrant experience”, Omole was born in England, but her parents were born in Nigeria and in her play we’re looking at both the Nigerian and the British Nigerian experience. 

She’s interwoven fables, West African music and Yoruba into the play, ensuring that the audience feels seen, whether through heritage or the touching of being an adult and having to reckon with our parents’ impact on our lives. Omole researched the British educational system and its tie to how we engage with black history and how people have resisted historically. 

It’s evident how passionate she is about the world she’s built inside of the rehearsal room and how excited she is for it to be staged. Ultimately ‘My Father’s Fable’ is about “the weight of connection.” 

‘My Father’s Fable’ runs at Bush Theatre till 27 July. 


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