Recently heralded by the Sunday Times as a company to watch in 2010, Pen-Ultimate is a diverse collective of nationally and internationally recognised poets, actors, MCs and playwrights.
The group first met as young people involved in Contact, Manchester. They made their debut as a collective for the 2007 Edinburgh Festival and have since performed at theatres and festivals around the UK including Kendall Calling and the Big Chill.
Pen-Ultimate are Samira Arhin-Acquaah AKA Lucidity, Ali Gadema AKA Frisko Dan, Niven Ganner, Ben Mellor and Martin Stannage AKA Visceral.
Ali Gadema aka Frisko Dan
Rapper, poet, hip hop theatre practitioner and educator. Ali has taught poetry in prisons, youth groups, schools and to young people on the streets of Manchester. Ali’s first solo show, Contradictions for his company Sharpening SAWD’ premiered at Contact in November 2009.
A spoken word artist, writer, actor and performance poet who has worked with Frantic Assembly, the People Show, Paines Plough and Dende Collective, amongst others. He is one of the artistic directors of Shot in the Dar’ theatre company and has performed solo work at various Manchester venues.
Samira Arhin-Acquaah aka Lucidity
An MC, spoken word artist, actor and workshop facilitator. Samira has performed with Aftershock, Apples & Snakes and Manchester based alternative Hip Hop band, Ajah.
A poet, MC, playwright & workshop facilitator, born and raised in Manchester with a reputation as a skilled lyricist. He has performed and delivered workshops all over the world.
Pen-ultimate’s first full-length theatre production is A Night on the Tiles, a show that mixes tightly woven wordplay with send-ups of heist, caper and kung fu movies in an epic tale of violence, revenge and Devonshire cream teas.
With dramaturgy from the sharpened pen of US Hip Hop Theatre pioneer Will Power, and directed by Montserrat Gili of the internationally acclaimed Dende Collective, the show is a unique and groundbreaking combination of spoken word, black comedy, digital animation and physical theatre.
A Night on the Tiles was originally developed at Contact is a Co-Production between Pen-Ultimate, Contact and The Albany. The show debuted to critical acclaim with a ten-day, sell-out run at Contact in February 2010, and will tour nationally in Autumn 2010 and Spring 2011.
A street theatre adaptation of the piece, called A Day On The Tiles, will also be touring outdoor arts festivals in Summer 2010. See gigs listing for details.
“Packed with wordy wit…laced with sharp physical comedy”
METRO **** Four Stars
“Fresh…dynamic…not to be missed!”
What’s On Stage **** Four Stars
Videos of Pen-ultimate