Arcola Theatre and The Elufowoju jr Ensemble

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives

Lola Shoneyin

Directed by: Femi Elufowoju, jr

Arcola Theatre is currently closed in order to avoid contributing to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find out more »

★★★★★ “Nothing short of spectacular” — The Guardian

★★★★ The Stage   ★★★★ WhatsOnStage   ★★★★ Evening Standard


“Men are like yam, you cut them how you like.”

Baba Segi has three wives, seven children, and a mansion filled with riches. But now he has his eyes on Bolanle, a young university graduate wise to life’s misfortunes. When Bolanle responds to Baba Segi’s advances, she unwittingly uncovers a secret which threatens to rock his patriarchal household to the core.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives is a scandalous, engrossing tale of sexual politics and family strife in modern-day Nigeria. Lola Shoneyin’s bestselling novel bursts on to the stage in a vivid adaptation by Caine Award-winning playwright Rotimi Babatunde.

Femi Elufowoju, jr directs a multi-talented West African ensemble in the UK premiere production, featuring live Yoruba music, songs and dance.

A co-production by Arcola Theatre and The Elufowoju, jr Ensemble


Post-show events

Lola Shoneyin Q&A

Friday 29 June, after 7.30pm performance

Join director Femi Elufowoju, jr in a one-off event discussing the scandalous story and its themes with Lola Shoneyin, author of the original novel. This is a unique opportunity to listen to the leading Nigerian novelist and poet talking about her work, as well as answering your questions and signing copies of the playtext and novel.

Free for all ticket-holders on 29 June performance.

Ladies Night

+ Women, Sex and Sexuality in Africa panel

Tuesday 17 July, panel after 7.30pm performance

A night for women (and brave men too) to come together to watch Lola Shoneyin’s fun and fearless novel on stage, followed by a free post-show event shining a spotlight on gender equality and female empowerment.

Women, Sex and Sexuality in Africa is a panel discussion chaired by cast member Jumoké Fashola (host of BBC Radio 3’s J to Z & BBC Radio London’s Sunday Breakfast Show ‘Inspirit’). Joined by Eliza Anyangwe (writer & founder of The Nzinga Effect), Kelechi Okafor (actor, dance innovator & social commentator) and Tobi Kyeremateng (theatre, poetry and festival producer), this is set to be a truly unique evening shedding light on cultural taboos around sex and sexuality for women in Africa, and looking closer at the power of the African feminist.

Free for all ticket-holders for The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.