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Play immortalises James Barnor & Mike Eghan

If you’ve seen this image shot of BBC broadcaster Mike Eghan outside Piccadilly Circus, you may also know that award-winning photographer James Barnor captured the shot in 1969.

Mike Eghan at Piccadilly Circus, London, 1967 © James Barnor/ ABP Autograph

How the two Ghanaians met is another story, which is being reimagined and immortalised in a south London theatre performance which opens from 6 September.

The 80-minute-long play – called DRUM – is created by Jacob Roberts-Mensah and directed by actress-turned-director Sarah Amankwah. It stars Benjamin Sarpong-Broni as Mike Eghan and Joshua Roberts-Mensah as James Barnor.

“As the afternoon sun hits BBC Broadcasting House in London, photographer James Barnor meets broadcaster Mike Eghan for the very first time,” says Jacob. “Thrown together by lives built far from home, the two rising Ghanaian creatives must manoeuvre through their perception of identity, success, assimilation and home.”

You can see it at The Omnibus Theatre Clapham, in south London from 6 September until 25 September.

DRUM, probably a reference to the South African publication that James Barnor worked for, was originally performed as a work-in-progress script-in-hand piece at Camden People’s Theatre in spring 2022.

The play emerged from Omnibus Theatre's flagship artist support scheme called Engine Room. Engine Room puts the audience, at the heart of the creative process by giving them a platform, through a feedback form, to comment and directly influence the next development of the pieces.

Joshua Roberts-Mensah (James Barnor) and Benjamin Sarpong-Broni (Mike Eghan) in DRUM ©

More about the people behind the play

Sarah Amankwah is best known as an actress; she makes her directorial debut in DRUM. Her theatre credits include Lion King (West End) Henry V (Shakespeare’s Globe). Her film credits include Dungeons & Dragons and her television credit include Black Earth Rising.

Benjamin Sarpong-Broni plays Mike Eghan. His theatre credits include, Love Thy Fro’ (Theatre Peckham), Romeo and Juliet (Katzpace Theatre), Brit Ain't Right (The Courtyard Theatre), Olu (Pleasance Theatre) and Still Barred (Hackney Showroom Theatre). His television credits include Drunk History, Delicious, and for film; The Intent 2, The Young Cannibals, and The Weekend.

Joshua Roberts-Mensah plays James Barnor. He is a British-Ghanaian actor and recording artist from South London and returning to the role of James Barnor after having played several characters in the award-winning audio-drama Dem Times.


Omnibus Theatre, 1 Clapham Common North Side, SW4 0QW

Box Office: / 0207 498 4699

6 – 25 September

Price: £16 standard, £13 concession.

Age guidance: 12+

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