Presented by Lanre Malaolu
Michael, a young working-class black man from Hackney, seems to have a good life – a decent job, solid friends, he even volunteers as a football coach at his local youth football club on weekends. But as the days go by, it gets a little harder for Michael to get out of bed in the morning, a little harder for Michael to connect with his friends and a little harder for Michael to do his volunteering to the best of his ability.
There’s something going on, something he needs to address but keeps hidden.
As the pressure mounts and the challenges of Michael’s mental health deepen, we see how he grapples to keep control and the effects it has on his life when he doesn’t.
A fusion of physical theatre, hip-hop dance and spoken word, Elephant in the Room is inspired by Lanre’s personal experiences. It’s an explosive and unapologetic dance theatre solo exploring the mental health crisis within the working class black community.
Directed and performed by Lanre Malaolu, with Dramaturgical support from Zoe Lafferty.
Supported by Arts Council England, Camden Peoples Theatre, Talawa, The Wellcome Trust, The Michael Grandage Company and The Place.
Ab0ut the artist
Lanre Malaolu is a director, choreographer and performer. He was chosen as the overall winner of the ZEALOUS EMERGE PERFORMANCE PRIZE, a nationwide search championing the UK’s best emerging performance artists in 2018. He was the choreographer and movement artist on The British Council film ‘DEAR MR. SHAKESPEARE’, which was selected for the SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL in 2017.
Lanre was also the chosen choreographer on the inaugural OLD VIC 12 talent network in 2016.
FIGURE, a short film Lanre directed & choreographed, has won multiple awards and has been shown at film festivals around the world including Zanzibar, Texas, Toronto, Vancouver as well as being selected for the BAFTA recognised Aesthetica Film festival.
He is currently developing a new film supported by the British Film Institute.
Lanre is also a trained actor (Drama Centre London) and has worked extensively in theatre and television.
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