Sunday October 21, 2018

patti boulaye

actress, singer and dancer 

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Patti Boulaye FRSA made her name as a West End actress and recording star, her illustrious international career includes starring roles on stage and screen. Most recently Patti played Sister Pearl in the BBC2 TV series Brothers & Sisters, she alsowrote, produced and starred in Patti Boulaye’s Sun Dance, a spectacular show based on African rhythm, dance and music which ran for a successful six-week season at The Hackney Empire.

Patricia Ngozi Ebigwei was born in 1954 in a taxicab between two villages in the Bendel Igbo region of rural Nigeria. One of eight children, she grew up in the middle of the horrific Biafran civil war. Aged sixteen, she left Nigeria and moved to London, she changed her name to Patti Boulaye after a chance meeting with Evelyn Laye, known affectionately as “Boo” to her friends.

Patti trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is now a Governor of BADA the famous drama academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). She is also President and Founder of the charity, Support for Africa which has seen her build and open healthcare clinics in Cameroon and Nigeria.

Patti made her stage debut in the West End Musical Hair at the Shaftesbury Theatre. This was followed by Two Gentleman of Verona at the Phoenix. Patti then became a member of the fabulous girl group The Flirtations; she recorded several singles before leaving to perform in Jesus Christ Superstar, then came her first starring role as Yum Yum in the Black Mikado at the Cambridge Theatre. More stage roles quickly followed.

Patti returned to Africa to star in the critically acclaimed film, Bisi Daughter of the River. Returning to London she won the highly prestigious New Faces TV series receiving full marks (unprecedented in the history of the show). Patti then went on to also win the All Winners Final Gala Show. New career peaks kept coming - she released successful records, toured around the world, danced with the Scottish Ballet, appeared in several more movies including The Music Machine for director Ian Sharp and Hussy with Helen Mirren. She became the highly-visible face of Lux Beauty Soap in the UK for five years. She was named Female Vocalist of the Year in 1981 by BBC TV, and co-produced her own TV series The Patti Boulaye Show on Channel 4. The 100th broadcast of The Patti Boulaye Show, a Christmas Day special with Sir Cliff Richard - was watched by millions.

Patti won critical acclaim for her performance in the title role of Carmen Jones both at the Old Vic Theatre in London and on a world tour; touring the UK, Japan and other extensive world dates.

Patti also organised and led a 5,000 strong Gospel Choir down The Mall to celebrate HM the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and  organised the Royal Albert Hall Football Reaching Out For Africa charity event (Sept 2007) featuring famous footballers and international celebrities of stage and screen.

In recent years Patti has become a successful painter and jewellery designer, and remains a tireless worker for her charity. Patti had her first solo art exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery. She has since undertaken a number of commissions for private clients and specialises in African Animals. 2008 saw Patti’s come back live performance with a hit packed, crowd pleasing Dance Nights extravaganza.

Patti is married to property developer Stephen Komlosy; they live in Buckinghamshire and have two children, daughter Emma - popularly known as Aret - and son, Sebastian.      

Patti Boulaye's website
Support for Africa website
Sun Dance website