A prolific Nigerian playwright, novelist and screenwriter now based in London, HALF OF A YELLOW SUN is Biyi Bandele’s feature film directorial debut. This first feature follows his distinguished career writing and directing plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court, and writing screenplays for the BBC and British and international film productions.
Bandele has previously written and directed a short, THE KISS (2009), a psychological thriller.
For television, Bandele wrote Not Even God is Wise Enough directed by Danny Boyle for BBC2 in 1994 and Bad Boy Blues for BBC2 (1995). He has also written a number of BBC radio dramas including Oroonoko (Radio 3, 2003), City of Spades (Radio 4, 2002) and Things Fall Apart (Radio 3, 1998).
His prolific writing for theatre includes his adaptation of Aphra Benn’s Oroonoko, which was a huge hit for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2000, and was successfully revived by New York’s Theatre for a New Audience in 2007. He wrote Brixton Stories for London’s Tricycle Theatre in 2001 and Yerma for the Edinburgh International Festival in 2000. The same year he worked on Happy Birthday, Mister Deka D at the Lyric Hammersmith in London. Earlier work, all in London. includes Thieves Like Us Southwark Playhouse (1998), Things Fall Apart, Ambassadors Theatre (1997), Me and the Boys, Finborough Theatre (1996), Death Catches the Hunter, BAC (1995), Two Horsemen, Gate Theatre (transferred to Bush Theatre, 1994), Resurrections, Talawa Theatre Company, Cochrane Theatre (1994), In the Grove… Royal Court Theatre (At the Tabernacle, 1994), Marching For Fausa, Royal Court Theatre (1993) and Rain, Yaa Asantewaa (1991).
Bandele’s fiction writing includes Burma Boy published by Jonathan Cape in 2007 (published as The King’s Rifle, Harper Collins in the US in 2009); The Street, Picador, 1999; The Sympathetic Undertaker & Other Dreams, Heinemann, 1994; and The Man Who Came In From The Back Of Beyond, Heinemann, 1993.