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Inua Ellams’s Half-God of Rainfall to open in Birmingham

Published: 23 February 2019

Rakie Ayola and Kwami Odoom have been cast in Inua Ellams's new play The Half-God of Rainfall, a Birmingham REP, Kiln Theatre and Fuel co-production.

Ayola will take the role of Modupe, mother to half-god son Demi who will be played by Odoom. Nancy Medina directs with design by Max Johns, movement direction by Imogen Knight, sound design by Tanuja Amarasuriya, lighting design by Jackie Shemesh and casting by Briony Barnett.

Ayola appeared in Leave to Remain by Matt Jones and Kele Okereke at the Lyric Hammersmith at the beginning of 2019. She played Hannah in Barney Norris’ This Place We Know: The Rest of Your Life at the Bush Theatre in London in 2016.

Odoom played Somerset in Queen Margaret by Jeanie O'Hare, taken from William Shakespeare, at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in 2018 and appeared in Ellams’s Barber Shop Chronicles, a Fuel Theatre presentation at the National Theatre in 2017.

Ellams’s contemporary saga The Half-God of Rainfall weaves poetry with storytelling in a “majestic, chaotic journey across mythologies that transports us from a tiny village in southern Nigeria to the further reaches of our galaxy and beyond”.

Modupe, cursed with extraordinary beauty, draws the unwanted attention of the Greek and Yoruba gods. Her son Demi, half Nigerian-mortal, half Olympian child, is bestowed with powers; one of them manifests in the game of basketball. When he unknowingly sparks Zeus' wrath, Modupe tries to protect him from the capricious whims of the gods.

The Half-God of Rainfall runs at Birmingham REP from 13 until 20 April and at Kiln Theatre, London from 25 April until 17 May.

Steve Orme