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Poet Caleb Femi takes his life story to the stage

PICTURED: CALEB FEMI (Image: Camilla Greenwell)

POET CALEB Femi’s new show will explore how he turned his life around after being shot.

Goldfish Bowl, the former Young People’s Poet Laureate for London’s new theatre show, will premiere at Battersea Arts Centre on May 30.

Femi’s theatre production will explore the defining moments that make up a life and will provide and overview of his life from Nigeria to Peckham. Goldfish Bowl follows the moment in which, aged 18 and recovering from a gunshot wound, Femi read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and was inspired to change his future.

The production will feature live music mixing by female rapper and DJ Lex Amor, and illustrations by illustrator and designer Olivia Twist, making Goldfish Bowl a mix of theatre, spoken word and projections.

Director Jemma McDonnell said: “Caleb is extraordinary in so many ways. Beyond the fact that he is such a gifted poet, Caleb has an extraordinary story to tell. Goldfish Bowl is a glimpse into his world, it's a totally honest, brutal, raw story told beautifully by three incredible artists. I'm excited for people to see this show, for some it may be alien and eye opening, for others it may finally reflect their world, tell their story. I hope it does both.”

Goldfish Bowl explores Caleb Femi's life alongside stories that matter in modern Britain.

Originally an English teacher, Femi was appointed as Young People's Laureate for London with the hope that his work could re-engage disenfranchised young people in 2016.

He is featured in this year’s Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture and his commissions include the Tate Modern, The Royal Society for Literature, St Paul's Cathedral and The Guardian. He has also become the Roundhouse Poetry Slam Champion, Genesis Slam Champion and a filmmaker.

Equally concerned with cultural, social and political issues, The Paper Birds are an award-winning devised theatre company that create work that is conversationally urgent. Their work is inspired by creatively engaging with local communities, drawing heavily on verbatim material, giving a voice to the voiceless.

Goldfish Bowl is commissioned by The Albany, Battersea Arts Centre and Roundhouse. It has been made using public funding from Arts Council England.

Goldfish Bowl runs from May 30 to June 16.

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