Dyslexic barber’s novel to be performed on stage as part of theatre festival

L-R Dauda Ladejobi, Vivienne Isebor, Patrick Phipps and Celestina Rowaiyi. Picture: PATRICK PHIPPS

L-R Dauda Ladejobi, Vivienne Isebor, Patrick Phipps and Celestina Rowaiyi. Picture: PATRICK PHIPPS - Credit: Archant

A dyslexic barber’s novel inspired by the streets he grew up on is being performed on stage after a chance encounter with a theatre impresario.

Twisted Lanes by East Ham hairdresser Patrick Phipps is due to be performed at The Broadway in Barking as part of Studio 3 Arts's fringe theatre festival.

Patrick said: "This is a massive leap. I always wanted to get it in the theatre so people can see it live."

The 49-year-old explained it was a lucky twist of fate that saw his dream come true after Celestina Rowaiyi took a seat in a chair at his barbershop, A Cut Above the Rest.

After the pair started talking Patrick mentioned his book which Celestina, who was part of the team behind the hit play Barber Shop Chronicles, bought a copy of.

Two weeks later Celestina got back in touch to say she had got the funding needed to take the novel from the page to the stage.

"I was surprised. [Celestina] spun it around so fast, I wasn't quite ready for it," Patrick said.

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The play sees four connected tales give a snapshot into the lives of four people. It is due to be performed as part of Studio 3 Arts's Clout 19 festival which provides opportunities for artists and theatre companies to present new work.

Patrick, who is originally from Forest Gate, wrote the self-published book on his mobile phone with some ideas in the story even coming to him in his sleep.

The married father of two admitted that when he shared the news his novel was being turned into a play with his family he had a little cry because he was so chuffed.

"I've worked hard for this. I can just see it all unfolding now. My daughters and wife were amazed. I've done a lot of things in my life but this is the pinnacle," Patrick said.

He added he has seen bits of the play in rehearsals and it was looking really good but didn't want to see it in full until the opening night so he can appreciate the full effect.

Twisted Lanes is available to buy on Amazon. For tickets to see it performed by Dauda Ladejobi and Vivienne Isebor at 7.30pm on Thursday (July 4) visit studio3arts.org.uk or call 020 8594 7136.