An Evening With Kwame Kwei-Armah



Kwame Kwei-Armah came to the Tower for a special event, sharing stories and inspiration from his life and career so far. He is a true raconteur and kept us all rapt as he described his previous struggles in music before turning to writing, when he realised that "there is a door with your name on but it might not be the one you're knocking". He said for a time he found it easy to complain that opportunities in the theatre were not presenting themselves before recognising that none of us should "wait for anyone to give you something, just go and find it" and said that the Tower was an excellent example of this self-determination, never giving up on finding and establishing its new home. He had lived for a while just down the road from the Tower in fact - coincidentally, at the time he first started writing Fix Up - and was hugely impressed by the theatre building and its new place in the community, saying a theatre wasn't just "a theatre of entertainment but a civic one as well".

When asked whether he would act again he easily said no, describing how he felt he was, at his best, a good actor but as a director he can work with actors "who are inspirational on a bad day". He places immense importance on how theatre provokes a response or sparks a conversation calling it "a reflector, a catalyst", and saying "art is the way I serve ... it's my weapon of choice".

He also told us our production of Fix Up is the first revival since its staging at the National Theatre in 2004!

A truly inspiring evening.


An Evening With Kwame Kwei-Armah

An Evening With Kwame Kwei-Armah

Photography by Stephen Ley