Watch the world’s social power dynamics come together in this play about a Nigerian nightclub toilet attendant.
‘The country change, the city change, the people dem think they change, but I tell you dem sh*t the same. Dem all dey run from it the same.’
Written and directed by Adura Onashile, Expensive Sh*t is the story of Tolu, who works in the toilets of a fictional nightclub based on Glasgow’s Shimmy Club. In 2012, a true story broke about a spy mirror in Shimmy Club’s women’s toilets. It was revealed that unsuspecting users of the women’s toilets were being watched by male punters, who were paying for the privilege.
Tolu is paid next to nothing by the club, so she relies on tips from people using the toilets. Driven by the need to earn more money, she manipulates the behaviour of the women in the toilets for the titillation of the men watching behind the mirrors. But how far is Tolu prepared to go?
The play is set in the toilets of the Glasgow nightclub, and also in the toilets of The Shrine club in Lagos, Nigeria, where a younger Tolu dreams of becoming a dancer in the revolutionary band of Fela Kuti.
Expensive Sh*t reveals the ways in which the male gaze still reigns supreme and women continue to struggle under the weight of objectification, in the dual contexts of present-day Britain and Fela Kuti’s revolutionary politics in the Nigeria of the 1980s and 1990s. The play is performed by an all-female cast.
About Africa Utopia
In 2012 Southbank Centre launched Africa Utopia, a festival dedicated to bringing art and ideas from Africa and the African diaspora to audiences in the UK. We ask what the West can learn from this rapidly changing continent.
The festival’s first four years have featured the award-winning Senegalese musician and human-rights activist Baaba Maal, afrobeat legend Tony Allen, former First Lady of Somaliland and hospital founder Edna Adan, Kenyan creative collective The Nest, Township Tech originator Spoek Mathambo, ‘godfather of Ethiopian jazz’ Mulatu Astatke and the Kinshasa Symphony orchestra.