After recently announcing its long-awaited return via a groundbreaking UK tour, which takes place across London, Coventry and Manchester in October 2018, seminal Afrobeats musical Oliva Tweest: The AfroMusical is excited to reveal it’s first confirmed casting for the highly anticipated tour, and it is none other than award-winning comedian, actor, and media personality Eddie Kadi.
Confirmed to play the master of ceremonies known as the ‘Baba Host’, Eddie Kadi’s character is not to be confused with a narrator, he is much more powerful. As the ‘Baba Host’, Eddie Kadi is ageless, his world is timeless, and rather than just telling a story to an audience, he presents it as a show to them, in true master of ceremonies fashion. Breaking the fourth wall, the ‘Baba Host’ invites the audience to witness and even take part in his master plan.
Performing alongside his live band, the ‘Baba Host’ has the power to influence the ‘Oliva Tweest’ story in real time, and can subtly intervene in the story to gently nudge our protagonist Tobi in the right direction when he’s going left. Eddie Kadi and his band will also provide the show with its musical influences and score the scenes, to set the tone for the rest of the story, and perhaps change the course of the musical.
Renowned as one of the best Black British comedians of our time, Eddie Kadi was the first Black British comedian to headline the world famous O2 Arena, and more recently, sold out the Hackney Empire for a 2-night one man show. As well as his comedic credentials, Eddie Kadi is an acclaimed actor and presenter, having starred in cult classics such as Anuvahood and shank, worked for Capital Xtra, appeared on CNN Talk, Soccer AM, and BBC Radio 5 Live, and is currently hosting a weekly talk show on Rinse FM.
Welcoming Eddie Kadi as its first cast announcement, for what will be its biggest series of shows till date, the fan-favourite Afrobeats theatre spectacle Oliva Tweest: The AfroMusical is fast becoming one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, not just within the Afrobeats landscape, but also across British arts and theatre. Oliva Tweest: The AfroMusicalkicks off its UK tour at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry for two nights, before heading to Manchester’s Opera House, and closing in London (venue TBC).
The musical was created by Sky Academy Arts Scholarship recipient PureYinkz (Yinka Ayinde), and made its West End debut in 2013 as the first-ever Afrobeats musical in the UK. Since then, it has had a sold-out short run at Hackney Empire in 2014, a one-off special at Lagos Theatre Festival in 2016, and a weeklong development residency at The Barbican, before just announcing its biggest ever venture by way of the first ever Oliva Tweest: The AfroMusical UK tour.
Oliva Tweest: The AfroMusical is a captivating musical, which follows the ambitions of London hustler and club-promoter Tobi, who has no problem winning female attention, but yearns to shake off his shady reputation and move up in the world. Driven by his need to succeed, he plans the ultimate concert to attract his idol and Afrobeats legend D’Banj, naming it after the musician’s global hit ‘Oliver Twist’. But when he finds out that the landlord of his chosen concert venue intends to convert the building into a church, Tobi is forced to disguise his true intentions.
Speaking about joining the cast of Oliva Tweest: The AfroMusical, Eddie Kadi says, “I am really excited to be a part of this project. Yinka approached me a few years ago to be involved as a patron, someone who would give him advice and be an anchor to the industry, and that was always a pleasure. At some point, he wanted me to host the West End production, and with it being the first Afrobeats musical in the UK, I was excited to do it, that was amazing. We then moved on to a run at the Barbican, which I hosted again, and it has always been nice to be part of this journey.
To now reach a stage, where the project is taking a whole new form, expanding and going global, we’re going national but then, we’re definitely going global, and to be able to play my part in the background, as well as now being given the role of ‘Baba Host’, is amazing, I am looking forward to that. This is definitely history in the making, and it’s such a pleasure to be working with Yinka, Yemisi and the rest of the team. I am really looking forward to this, because this is a game changer, and something we’ve needed for a long time”.
Oliva Tweest: The AfroMusical takes place in October 2018 across London, Coventry and Manchester. Advanced tickets are available right now via http://olivatweestmusical.com