Welcome to Spora Stories

Looking for compelling characters? Gripping situations? You’ll find them at Spora Stories. We tell the dynamic stories of the African diaspora, creating plays, films, debates and other events, all telling untold stories and delivering great entertainment.

Phillis in London

Phillis in London is a project to mark the 250th anniversary of the first book in English by an African. Phillis Wheatley’s book, Reflections on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, was published in London in 1773.


An excerpt from an original new play, written and directed by Ade Solanke

The film is an extract from the forthcoming play, in partnership with the ORNC. It’s a site-specific extract set in The Painted Hall, one of the places Phillis visited during her trip.

https://ornc.org/our-story/today/discover/bgp-online/performance-podcast-and-poetry/

Honest, simple, enthralling …absolutely brilliant ***** The Public Reviews, on Ade Solanke’s Pandora’s Box

From acclaimed playwright Ade Solanke comes a new play about an extraordinary writer – Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American to publish a book of poetry, and the second American woman to do so.

Her volume was published in London when she was still a teenager. It marks a watershed moment in literary history and made her ‘the Oprah Winfrey of her day’, both in Europe and America. On her trip to London in 1773, she toured the city, visited Greenwich with its myriad connections to the Navy, the Slave Trade and British-African history, and mixed with the elite of London society.

But while she was being celebrated, she was enslaved.

Phillis in London tells her incredible and poignant story. Based on her visit, it re-imagines and dramatises her experience as an African-American/British-American woman writer abroad, in Europe’s greatest capital city, at the height of the slave trade, on the cusp of the American Revolution. It unveils the hidden world of African-Caribbean Georgian Londoners living alongside white Georgians who teamed together as ‘her friends’ whose support helped her fight for freedom.

Prodigy, poet and enslaved woman writer, Phillis set sail three times in her life. How did her ‘out-of-Africa’ and ‘out-of-America’ experiences transform her?

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THE COURT MUST HAVE A QUEEN

THE COURT MUST HAVE A QUEEN by ADE SOLANKE
OUR NEW PLAY IS NOW ON AT HAMPTON COURT PALACE
JUNE 29th – SEPT 2nd 2018

It’s the summer of 1539 and Henry VIII is looking for a fourth wife after the death of his beloved Jane Seymour. Join the court as Thomas Cromwell oversees the finishing touches to a feast he hopes will seal the marriage treaty between Henry and Anne of Cleves.

The palace is a flurry of activity with the cooks preparing food for the feast in the kitchens, servants taking deliveries and bustling around the service areas, musicians preparing the entertainment, and guests and courtiers preparing their finest clothes.

However, with Henry’s mood threatening to upset weeks of planning, everyone is watching nervously to find out what happens next. Can the returning favoured court trumpeter, John Blanke help to soothe the king’s mood?

Full of music and drama this new play written for Hampton Court Palace by Ade Solanke and directed by Sam Curtis Lindsay, brings the court of the palace’s most famous resident to life in a theatrical spectacle suitable for all ages.

Daily Schedule

The Court Must Have a Queen runs from the 29 June- 2 September 2018 Thursday- Monday.

Performances take place in the Great Hall at 11:30, 12:30 and 15:30 and last approximately 30 minutes. More about this play

 

 

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East End Boys, West End Girls

Our second new play, a vibrant look at London life, began its exciting London tour at Arcola in Dalston, before going to CLF Arts Cafe, Peckham, Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea and Bernie Grant Art Centre, Tottenham.

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Pandora’s Box

Our UK national tour of Pandora’s Box was a huge success, playing to packed houses around the country (16 venues in total, the largest tour ever for a Black British play), and ending with a week sell-out shows and standing ovations at London’s Arcola.

‘Honest, simple, enthralling …absolutely brilliant’  ***** Public Reviews

‘Firecracker theatre … touching … hilarious’ The Stage

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Film

 

We’re developing exciting new projects for film and TV, bringing untold stories to life!

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Press

Read some of our recent coverage here.

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About us

Ade Solanke is a playwright and scriptwriter, and founder and director of Spora Stories. She wrote the screenplay for feature film,’ Dazzling Mirage,’ which had its world premiere in Australia. Her debut play,’ Pandora’s Box’, had its world premiere at London’s Arcola Theatre to great acclaim, including being nominated for Best New Play in the Off West End Awards (Offies). It toured nationally in 2014…

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Testimonials

"Solanke’s script stealthily and dutifully discusses current and historical issues and perspectives in a forum and with an honesty which, quite frankly, is unrivalled in any of the debating halls, parliamentary chambers, conferences, seminars and workshops I have attended thus far in my life."

2017-06-28T15:14:06+00:00
"Solanke’s script stealthily and dutifully discusses current and historical issues and perspectives in a forum and with an honesty which, quite frankly, is unrivalled in any of the debating halls, parliamentary chambers, conferences, seminars and workshops I have attended thus far in my life."
"Firecracker theatre … touching … hilarious"

The Stage (on Pandora's Box)

2017-06-28T15:15:00+00:00

The Stage (on Pandora's Box)

"Firecracker theatre … touching … hilarious"
"Honest, simple, enthralling …absolutely brilliant"

Public Reviews (on Pandora's Box)

2017-06-28T15:15:38+00:00

Public Reviews (on Pandora's Box)

"Honest, simple, enthralling …absolutely brilliant"
“I have approximately 500 words in which I can review this play and all I want to write is ‘absolutely brilliant’ 250 times”

The Public Reviews (on Pandora's Box)

 

2018-07-16T17:24:56+00:00

The Public Reviews (on Pandora's Box)

 

“I have approximately 500 words in which I can review this play and all I want to write is ‘absolutely brilliant’ 250 times”
"Pandora’s Box buzzes with life and the tensions of real people struggling to make the best of their lives while dealing with the legacies of the choices made by a previous generation”

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian (on Pandora's Box)

2018-07-16T17:29:15+00:00

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian (on Pandora's Box)

"Pandora’s Box buzzes with life and the tensions of real people struggling to make the best of their lives while dealing with the legacies of the choices made by a previous generation”
“All in all a brilliant play that addresses a pertinent issue not just of education and the role of culture and identity, but of parenthood... bad choices can be made with the best of intentions. GO AND SEE IT!!!”

Afridiziak Theatre News (on Pandora's Box)

2018-07-16T17:30:13+00:00

Afridiziak Theatre News (on Pandora's Box)

“All in all a brilliant play that addresses a pertinent issue not just of education and the role of culture and identity, but of parenthood... bad choices can be made with the best of intentions. GO AND SEE IT!!!”
“...Funny, illuminating scenes… hot on the heels of every poignant moment is a belly laugh…"

Whatsonstage (on Pandora's Box)

2018-07-16T17:31:31+00:00

Whatsonstage (on Pandora's Box)

“...Funny, illuminating scenes… hot on the heels of every poignant moment is a belly laugh…"
"This could be Black British theatre’s answer to Rafta Rafta, Ayub Khan-Din’s British-Asian family comedy ... infectiously funny ... a valuable debate on education and social values"

 

ReviewsGate (on Pandora's Box)

2018-07-16T17:40:31+00:00

ReviewsGate (on Pandora's Box)

"This could be Black British theatre’s answer to Rafta Rafta, Ayub Khan-Din’s British-Asian family comedy ... infectiously funny ... a valuable debate on education and social values"