The National Theatre is famous for being built during the military era of Nigeria and for looking like the cap of an officer. It is famous for other things but in recent years it had shared its compound with over grown large lawns and expensive food sellers… and that is how I found myself heading there to see a play, A Nigerian classic, a Prof Femi Osofisan play – Altine’s Wrath. This was done by a production company called Thespian Family Theatre and Productions.
Having grown up with a bit of the University of Ibadan in me I felt I had to see it.
Got there early, good sits are very important, I think I am the only one who shares this thought tho. The 2pm show didn’t start till 2:55pm or so. If I wasn’t paying money and time to see this show I won’t be irritated, but it turned out I had paid money and time to see the show!
We entered the theatre only to be told rudely about sitting and not recording the show, RME. Apologies are not in the vocabulary of the rude speaker.
The opening scene had 3 people gyrating to ‘my woman, my everything’ by Patoranking ft Wande Coal and then another song I can’t remember now. Is this the twist?
The next scene had a lady and a guy came on the stage dancing with the 3 mentioned/seen before, spoke – like tv show hosts and then invited another lady to the stage. She was introduced as a lady who had been awarded some most valuable person award
TBH, I commend the efforts of the cast, I was highly unimpressed!
It was poorly presented. The acting was nothing to write home about. It felt like I was in first year of Uni, watching a bunch of fellow first year theatre arts students try a play for the first time. I would say there were two exceptions; the first is the actor who played the protagonist Lawal Jatau and the actor who played his house help.
For the life of me I am still wondering what this twist is. I felt robbed. The dancing couldn’t be linked to the story, the ‘talk show’ start was ridiculous I didn’t see a reason for the unnecessary scenes. While the production, it seems was focused on bringing to light social issues of rape, corruption and domestic violence, I didn’t see the connection they were trying to place in the play. A bit forced. Furthermore, there were issues with the projector display, sound and in my opinion, the acting too.
Professional! No, this isn’t a word I can use with this show.
I don’t believe there were adequate rehearsals and I am sure sound checks didn’t happen.
Personally, I would discourage the idea of going to Muson Centre to see this play. On the bright side, there may be actual rehearsals prior to the Muson Centre event and it may just turn out well. I don’t really see that tho…
Unfortunately I doubt i will be happy to go and see any of the Thespian Family Theatre and Productions plays. I hope they have not ruined my best play ever Ola Rotimi's Gods are not to blame...
Ps. I have seen a stage play each weekend in the last 3 weeks. In Lagos, Theatre At Terra still does it for me.