Born in Nigeria. Climb a mango tree. Get hit by a Peugeot 405. Move to the North Peckham Estate. Fall in love with Khami. Have a fight by the P.E gym. Start writing Grime lyrics. Leave school with 12 GCSEs. Begin selling drugs. Get my heart broken by Abigail. Get stabbed. Get shot. Read a book.......Change everything.

An exciting collaboration between The Paper Birds and former Young People’s Laureate for London, Caleb Femi, Goldfish Bowl is a thrilling combination of spoken word, theatre, music and breathtaking illustration. It interrogates the many small but defining moments that make up our lives.

At 18 years old, recovering from a gunshot wound, Femi sat in a hospital bed reading Frankenstein. Goldfish Bowl tells the story as to how and why this book, and this moment in his past, changed his future. With live music from Lex Amor (rapper, producer, DJ) and illustrations by Olivia Twist, Goldfish Bowl is based on the life and works of Caleb Femi.

Equally concerned with cultural, social and political issues, The Paper Birds are an award-winning devised theatre company that create work that is conversationally urgent. Their work is inspired by creatively engaging with local communities, drawing heavily on verbatim material, giving a voice to the voiceless.

This relatable and highly relevant show explores Caleb Femi’s life alongside stories that matter here and now in modern Britain. In 2016, Femi was appointed as Young People’s Laureate for London with the hope that his work could re-engage disenfranchised young people. He is featured in the Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture and his commissions include the Tate Modern, The Royal Society for Literature, St Paul's Cathedral and the Guardian.

Director Jemma McDonnell comments, Caleb is extraordinary in so many ways. Beyond the fact that he is such a gifted poet, Caleb has an extraordinary story to tell. Goldfish Bowl is a glimpse into his world, it’s a totally honest, brutal, raw story told beautifully by three incredible artists. I’m excited for people to see this show, for some it may be alien and eye opening, for others it may finally reflect their world, tell their story. I hope it does both.

Goldfish Bowl is co-commissioned by The Albany, Battersea Arts Centre and Roundhouse. It has been made using public funding from Arts Council England.

Wednesday 30th May – Saturday 16th June 2018 Tuesday to Saturday, 8pm
60 minutes
@thepaperbirds, @battersea_arts, @calebfemi5, #GoldfishBowl

Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TN