Orísun Productions has announced actor Danny Sapani is to become patron of the theatre company.
Danny joins founder/director Shereener Browne and artistic directors Seun Shote and Amanda Blake to complete the Orísun which provides a platform for African & African Caribbean actors, writers, and directors. As a patron, Danny will raise the profile of the theatre company, as well as provide creative consultation on Orísun’s future plans and artistic programming. Determined not to be just a figurehead, Danny will have a key role in the future of the company.
Danny Sapani is a British born actor of Ghanaian descent, whose work spans film, television, and theatre. A graduate of The Central School of Speech and Drama, he is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Sembene in Penny Dreadful, Tony Morecombe in Misfits as well as roles in Doctor Who, Star Wars, The Last Jedi, Black Panther, Jadotville and Trance directed by Danny Boyle. Recently he appeared as Jahan Zakari, Prime minister in the critically acclaimed TV series Mother, Father, Son, Jamie in Killing Eve and is currently working on Showtime’s series adaptation of the Xbox game Halo playing Captain Jacob Keyes.
Orísun Productions was founded in 2018 by barrister-turned-actor Shereener Browne to provide a platform for African & African Caribbean creatives and aid diversity in the acting industry. Orísun, which means spring, fountain or source in Yoruba, has successfully produced a number of shows, including a sold-out run of its inaugural production “Orísun Spring”, an anthology of monologues curated by the legendary Jamaican actor Anton Phillips; two scripts in hand performances of a new full-length play; and a scratch night for black female writers. Most recently, since lockdown, the company successfully produced an online series entitled “Orísun Does Shakespeare” which aimed to demonstrate the versatility of actors from the diaspora, highlighting the use of regional and other accents in Shakespeare’s work. Currently, Orísun has two full length plays in production dealing with issues of racial stereotyping, mental health, freedom of expression, and censorship of UK drill music.
In addition to his new role as patron of Orísun, Danny serves on the board of two other theatre companies; is a patron of three arts organisations, including Wac Arts, of which he is also an alumnus.
On his appointment as patron of Orísun, Danny said: “I am extremely excited to be a part of the Orísun movement. Companies like this one with determination, passion, and a mainline to the community they serve, are much needed and are changing the face of our industry. Replacing stereotype and ignorance with depth and authenticity.”
Shereener founder & director of Orísun said: “For too long black creatives have waited for a fair deal in the acting industry. We have waited patiently for diversity and equality of opportunity at every level of the profession. However, despite the wealth of acting, writing and directing talent in this country, the black creative community remains on the periphery with negative depictions and narratives prevailing. Orísun Productions was formed to help put an end to the woeful under-representation of black creatives in the industry. With Danny as our patron, we look forward to helping to build a more inclusive and diverse industry.”
Orísun is currently adapting its first full-length play called PlayFight into a COVID-friendly format. For more information about PlayFight and other productions go to orisunproductions.com