Adeola Solanke is a playwright and screenwriter. Solanke, who has Nigerian roots, was born and raised in West London. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Sheffield, an MFA in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts and a postgraduate diploma in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths, University of London.
She initially worked as a story analyst for such Hollywood studios as Sundance, New Line and Disney and as an arts journalist for The Guardian, The Voice, The Times Literary Supplement, West Africa Magazine and New Statesman. She went on to write screenplays, including Family Legacy (2009), a NHS-commissioned drama on sickle-cell disease patients that was broadcast in the UK, USA and West African, and Dazzling Mirage (2014), a film adaptation of the eponymous novel by Olayinka Abimbola Egbokhare, which was produced and directed by Tunde Kelani. Pandora’s Box (2008) was her first stage play to be produced and with her second play East End Boys, West End Girls (2015) she made her directorial debut.
Her first screenplay Femi’s Thirtieth went into the semi-final of the annual Nicholl Screenwriting Contest in Los Angeles. She was elected London’s Top Youth Entrepreneur (1989) and Best Playwright at the 2012 Nigerian Entertainment and Lifestyle Awards. Pandora’s Box was nominated for Best New Play in the Off West End Theatre Awards in 2012, for the 2014 Nigeria Prize for Literature and for the Alfred Fagon Audience Award. East End Boys, West End Girls, too, was nominated for the latter prize as well as for the 7th Black Entertainment, Film, Fashion, Television and Arts Awards in 2015. In 2016 she received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Sheffield.
Solanke has taught at several universities and institutions in the UK, Zimbabwe and Nigeria, including University of London (Goldsmith) and Pan-African University, Lagos, Nigeria. Currently she lectures Creative Writing at the University of Greenwich.
She is also the founding creative director of the Spora Stories company.
“Solanke to Work on Local Film Adaptations.” NewsDay Zimbabwe, 8 July 2014, www.newsday.co.zw/2014/07/08/solanke-work-local-film-adaptations. Accessed on 1 March, 2017.
Emberley, Julia. Defamiliarizing the Aboriginal: Cultural Practices and Decolonization in Canada. University of Toronto Press, 2007, p. 157.
Jackson, Sophia A. “Ade Solanke, Pandora’s Box” Afridiziak Theatre News, 2 May 2012. www.afridiziak.com/theatrenews/interviews/may2012/british-nigerian-playwright-ade-solanke.html. Accessed on 1 March, 2017.
Image source: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/alumni/news/hon-grads-summer-2016-1.594467