Tolu Agbelusi is a woman of many talents. The Nigerian British poet, playwright, performer, educator and lawyer is based in London, where her artistic practice focuses on building communities and empowering people through literature.
Supported by several Arts Council grants, Tolu created the 'Home Is... Project', a collaborative, poetry-based project exploring various concepts of home and displacement. And her debut multi-hander play, Ilé La Wà, received rave reviews from theatre critics following several sold-out shows between Summer 2018 and Spring 2019.
We love how Tolu's work explores the complex and challenging issues surrounding the idea of 'belonging' to a place you call home. We reached out to Tolu to find out some of her special places in London...
"Sky Garden in Fenchurch Street is a peace haven. You have amazing views of London for miles and so much space and beauty that it puts me in a relaxed frame of mind. It's good for writing and, if you are there towards the evening, there are also restaurants and bars inside. And did I say it's free entry?"
THE SOUTH BANK CENTRE
"From the views on Hungerford bridge to the endless creative activity at the Southbank, there's always something to do. Lots of free music and art activities, as well as paid. You are next to the National Theatre and have a selection of festivals throughout the year and all kinds of food. Plus, I always bump into someone I know!"
ST. LUKE'S CHURCH KENTISH TOWN
A friendly face in the city
"I love its lively, lovely people! Apart from Sunday services, they host a number of concerts throughout the year. And then there's the full orchestra contemporary Christmas carols, that are so popular, they have to have two services just to accommodate the crowds! Definitely somewhere to check out if you are looking for a friendly face in big London."
"The RSA Building near Charing Cross is a calm spot for reading, meetings, chilling out. They have a café that does good food, a library, various chill out spots and - if you pop in on a Friday - there are back-to-back presentations and free drop-in sessions on a variety of topics, mostly on things to do with making the world better."
"I've seen many amazing plays here - and just round the corner from the theatre is a garden with a tiny café and a playground hidden in the back. Both are nice ways to break away from the city whilst being in it."
For more information about the 'Home Is...' project, Ilé La Wà, and to discover Tolu's poetry, be sure to check out her website and follow her journey on Instagram.
Tolu's first collection of poetry, Locating Strongwoman, is available now from Jacaranda Books.
Follow Tolu on Instagram:
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All photos are copyright 51 Squared B.V., except: Tolu Agbelusi profile photo (Copyright: Jolade Olusanya); Sky Garden (Credit: Unsplash - Matthew Foulds); South Bank Centre (Credit: Pixabay - dtrevi0); St. Luke's Church (Instagram @stlukeskt); RSA House (Instagram @thersaorg); Arcola Theatre (Instagram @arcolatheatre). This feature was not paid for in any way.