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Provenance

Follow the journey of the sacred ibeji from Nigeria to Norwich

The run of performances at Norwich’s Dragon Hall is now over.

Watch an online version of the work on our YouTube channel.

This vivid and emotional, multiscreen immersive installation, created in collaboration with author Ayobámi Adébáyo and creative technologists Mutiny, tells the compelling story of twins separated by death. We follow the journey of the sacred ibeji artefact from its creation in Benin City, Nigeria, in 1895, to present-day Norwich in a story that spans continents, cultures and lifetimes.

Amongst the Yoruba of southwest Nigeria, twins are traditionally revered as gods. If a twin dies, the parents commission a sacred wooden sculpture of memorial— the ibeji. This figure is cared for as if it were a living twin.

Guided by a live actor, the narrative unfolds over three simultaneous screens as we follow the 120-year journey of this sacred object from its creation in Benin City in 1895, its capture during the 1897 British invasion, Nigerian independence in 1960, to present-day Norwich, revealing how a seemingly anonymous museum artefact – the ibeji – can hold the hopes and emotions of a family and even of a nation.

Directed by Marcus Romer, Provenance asks important questions about decolonising museum collections. Experience the play live at Dragon Hall, performed by Marva Alexander and a recorded cast, or online from anywhere in the world. Original artwork for Provenance is by Nigerian artist, Osaze Amadasun.

Experience this immersive play live at Dragon Hall, or online from anywhere in the world. This work was filmed at Riverside Studios London. Our thanks go to Creative Director of Riverside Studios, Rachel Tackley.

Due to the pandemic, the number of people who have been able to see this multiscreen + live performance work has been limited. Here we offer an online version of the work for you to enjoy.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

If you’ve enjoyed this work, please take two minutes to give us your feedback at http://uk.culturecounts.cc/s/5cfPUD.

Your feedback will help us make improvements and continue to offer this programme to the general public for free.

  • Upcoming Events

    Upcoming events for Provenance

    In this vivid and emotional 3-screen immersive play, acclaimed novelist Ayòbámi Adébáyò tells the compelling story of twins separated by death. Follow the journey of the sacred ibeji artefact from its creation in Benin in 1895, to present-day Norwich.

    This is the online version. To see this work in-person, find out more information here.

    When

    From 29th May to 1st September

    FREE ONLINE EXPERIENCE
    AVAILABLE NOW

    Where

    Online

    Provenance (Online)

Credits

Ayobámi Adébáyo

Writer

Professor Jean McNeil

UEA Lead

Marva Alexander

Actor (Kenny)

Jumoké Fashola

Actor (Mrs Lydia Jimoh)

Diana Yekinni

Actor (Adesuwa)

Golda John

Actor (Iya Agba)

Oliver Alvin Wilson

(Actor) Jide

Suzann McLean

Actor (Nurse)

Alana Ashley

Costume and Props

Remi Oyenekan

Makeup and Hair

Andrew Delaney

Director of Photography

Graham Tobias

Sound

Rich With

Gaffer

Suzann McLean

1st AD

Evie Nuttgens

2nd AD

Sandy Nuttgens

Music and Sound Design

Osaze Amadasun

Illustration

Sophie Mellor

Editor

Simon Poulter

Art Direction

Marcus Romer

Director

Tim Wright

Executive Producer

Sasha Bergstrom-Katz

CHASE Researcher & Web Editor

Venue Partners

National Centre for Writing

The National Centre for Writing celebrates and explores the artistic and social power of creative writing and literary translation. Our on-going programme of innovative collaborations engages writers, literary translators and readers, in person and online, in projects that support new voices and new stories, and respond to the rapidly changing world of writing. We’re based at the historic Dragon Hall in Norwich, where workshops and mentoring are regularly available for writers at all levels, both face-to-face and online.

Norfolk & Norwich Festival

Norfolk & Norwich Festival is the flagship arts festival for the East of England. Every May we transform and celebrate our city and county – bringing a world class programme of international art and home-grown talent to venues and open spaces across the region. We showcase the very best in classical and contemporary music, theatre, circus, dance, visual arts and outdoor work in our city, towns and unique Norfolk landscape.

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Housed in our iconic Norman Foster building at UEA, the Sainsbury Centre provides an inspiring and striking environment for interrogating how the past informs the future. Given by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, the Centre’s founding collection spans 5000 years and features art from around the world including works by Alberto Giacometti, Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso. The Sainsbury Centre is surrounded by a large Sculpture Park with work by Henry Moore, Lynn Chadwick, Antony Gormley, Elisabeth Frink and others. Drawing on collections and context, we curate a major programme of innovative, nationally and internationally significant, exhibitions.