Writer and Performer Sonny Nwachukwu talks about his show ‘Saturn Returns’ to show at Brixton House (Formely Known as Ovalhouse) as part of their inaugural Housemates Festival
Many of us can get ourselves trapped into self destructive psychological patterns as a result of traumas that have been left unresolved, learning to live with said patterns without the know how of how to stop the destructive cycle or finding the spiritual realm one that serves as a comfort and integral support system. Exploring the psychological and the spiritual in his work Saturn Returns showing from Thursday 21st until Sunday 24th April at Brixton House as part of The Housemates Festival, writer Sonny Nwachukwu tells us more about his choreopoem inspired by Igbo mythology, the show’s creative process and what we can expect!
Hi Sonny, your show Saturn Returns will show from 21st to 24th April at Brixton House as part of their ‘Housemates Festival’. How are you feeling?
How am I feeling? Nervous but excited! It’s my first ever production so all the emotions are there. I’m so lucky to have a great team with me who are just exceptional at their craft
Saturn Returns enwraps modern psychological issues of being trapped in repeatedly self-destructive patterns with a spiritual affirming circularity of rebirth along family lineage that is a feature of Igbo mythology. What inspired you to explore this further?
So many things inspired Saturn Returns. The main element is my Igbo heritage, mixing this with being Black British splurges on to the page of juxtaposition. Other things that have inspired this piece is a lot of friendships along the way, listening to the stories of patterns and how people come out of cycles (including myself) or stay in them really gripped me into making this piece. I’m now 30 so I’ve had my Saturn Return which is a time between the ages of 27-30 where you go through a transformation leading you to adult hood, this is never easy and feels like it lasts forever but it’s a lesson we all take in getting to adulthood
The show is a choreopoem combining music, spoken word and dance to explore the ideas previously mentioned. How have you approached creating the show?
I like to call the piece a ritual, and with that certain elements have to be in place to make it work with the first and foremost being trust and care, without these elements the piece loses its authenticity. As the events in Saturn Returns can be deemed personal, I’ve noticed that the rehearsal room is always rich with conversations and though we sometimes go off topic it always finds its way back and I’ve come to learn it’s very important for the growth of the piece. We focus equally on the text and movement. I see dance and text as a marriage without the other it loses its power and so in rehearsals, we drive to make it clear that one cannot live without the other.
The Housemates Festival marks Brixton House’s inaugural festival since its rebrand from Ovalhouse. What does it mean to form a part of this new chapter?
It feels amazing! Whilst in rehearsal the staff have been just so welcoming which really does aid to the piece, I feel very lucky to be a part of this festival and hope to return sometime in the future. Maybe a cheeky full run?
What have you learned/taken away from creating the show?
As this is the first production I have created, what I have learnt is the ability to stay calm under pressure but more importantly having honest conversations when it’s needed to better the work. As a disabled artist, I know how important time and planning is for me to do my best work and starting this project at the earliest time possible has made me really feel in control on where the piece is and using the time wisely to get the best result.
What can audiences expect from the show?
What you will except is something different, a choreopeoem is not a linear play so it about tapping into the performers and tapping into yourself its. A bit like a roller-coaster but don’t worry we will guide you through it.
What would you like for audiences to take away from the show?
What I would like for the audience to take from this show is just a little bit more of awareness of themselves. I believe We all have a bit of Ada and Obi in us and I hope people can take a moment to recognise a cycle they either love or want to change.
Questions by Lucy Basaba.
Saturn Returns will show from Thursday 21st until Sunday 24th April 2022 at Brixton House as part of The Housemates Festival. To find out more about the production, visit here…
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