"You might not know us. You might not see us. But we are training. All over Europe. All over the world"
MICHAEL ESSIEN I WANT TO PLAY AS YOU… is a football-dance-theatre performance exploring the line between hope and desperation for young African footballers who migrate to Europe to play professionally. Six West-African footballers invite an audience into their world of training, politics, visas and contracts.
The financial explosion of football coupled with the growing success of African players in Europe has led to many Africans believing in football as a way out of poverty. While the majority of African players displayed by the media are on million-dollar contracts, there is a growing under-class of football-aspirants living in harsh conditions in foreign lands chasing the dream of a decent football contract.
Concept/Direction | Ahilan Ratnamohan
Performers/Devisors | Etuwe Bright Junior, Jimmy Nwaoze, Sunny Ibrahim, Praise Onubiye, Wemimo Nosa, Lateef Babatunde, Ibukun Akinfenwa, ID Noble, Essien Christopher, Aloys Kwaakum, John Obi Agbo
Dramaturg | Kristof Persyn
Lighting Design | Timme Afschrift
Sound Design | Kris Strijbos w/ Ahilan Ratnamohan
Producers | Michelle Kotevski, Daisy Wouters, Filip Martens
Co-Production | Urban Theatre Projects [AU], Cultural Centres of Antwerp [BE], Antwerp European Sports Capital
- VIDEO -
Full show from premiere season, Part 1 & Part 2
- REVIEWS -
Stamp Media - Het mooiste spelletje ter wereld - Filip Tielens ~
Bachtrack - The Football Slave Trade: Ahilan Ratnamohan's Michael Essien, I want to play as you...
Exteunt - Michael Essien, I want to play as you...
Theatre Fullstop - MICHAEL ESSIEN, I WANT TO PLAY AS YOU @ STRATFORD CIRCUS (LIFT) REVIEW
- TOUR DATES -
2-8 Feb 2013 - De Loods, Park Spoor Noord, Antwerp
13 April 2013 - Atlas Festival, Antwerp
9 Aug 2013 - Theater Aan Zee, Oostende
27 Sep 2013 - Explosive! Festival, Bremen
24/25 June 2014 - LIFT Festival, London
26 June 2014 - Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock
26/27 March 2015 - Bürgerbühnefestival, Mannheim
2 April 2015 - De Centrale, Gent
8 March 2016 - Monty, Antwerp
24 March 2016 - SICK! Festival, Manchester
- www.aculturedleftfoot.com -