BRITISH COUNCIL ANNOUNCES FIRST EDITION OF LAGOS THEATRE FESTIVAL

British Council Nigeria, in conjunction with three of Nigeria’s most exciting theatre companies, and award-winning British-Nigerian actor, Inua Ellams, presents the Lagos Theatre Festival 2013.

Lagos Theatre Festival 2013

For 2 days, on the 16th and 17th of February, 2013, Renegade Theatre, Black Soul Performance Company, House of Tales and Fuel Theatre will bring to life amazing performances across a number of unconventional spaces – the Presidential Suite, Car Park, Petanque Area, and Casa Chianti Restaurant – at the Eko Hotel & Suites.

“We’re infusing cutting-edge techniques and tools to bring theatre, historically a rich part of Nigerian culture, to an even wider range of arts consumers,” says Ojoma Ochai, Assistant Director of the British Council. “The idea is to create a platform for theatre away from conventional theatre spaces, which sadly are in short supply in these parts.”

Renegade Theatre’s ‘The Waiting Room’ (Directed by Wole Oguntokun) is a place where luck will save no one; where natural cunning and innate intelligence must be put to the ultimate test. In it, even the most street-wise will come face-to-face with frail mortality. An exciting, thought-provoking performance on the meaning of existence and pre-destination, it was the Festival play for the Lagos Book and Arts Festival, The Festival of Nigerian Plays (FESTINA) and the Lagos State Government-sponsored Black Heritage Festival all in 2011.

In the Pidgin English comedy Grip Am (Directed by Deleke Gbolade), an experimental reworking of Ola Rotimi’s classic, revolving around a scatter-brained trickster who uses his wits to con death into giving him and his ever-belligerent wife eternal reprieve. Black Soul Performance Company’s production, strewn with brazenly loud eccentric action, has gripped audiences into frenzied laughter over a dozen times since 2012. The magic continues at the Lagos Theatre Festival where this rebellious production will be transformed in a unique way, leaving only chuckles and smiles in its aftertaste.

House of Tales (led by Ifeanyi Dibia) makes an ambitious debut with Bode Asiyanbi’s 2011 BBC African Performance winning play ‘Shattered’, a deeply moving story which exposes in a powerful way the silence that often surrounds the issue of rape, when victims are often reluctant to come forward and disclose what has happened to them – especially when the perpetrator is someone very close. Without preaching or condescension, Shattered sheds generous light and heart on what is, across and beyond Africa, a truly complex issue.

To complete the line-up will be the Nigeria premiere of The 14th Tale, by British-Nigerian playwright, poet and actor, Inua Ellams. Ellams, who was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK as a child, describes himself as being “from a long line of troublemakers, of ash-skinned Africans, born with clenched fists and a natural thirst for battle, only quenched by breast milk.”

Tickets for the Lagos Theatre Festival will go on sale from Tuesday 5th February 2013 at Terra Kulture (VI) and Bogobiri (Ikoyi).

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