Monday, July 02, 2007

A Season of Soyinka

There's a Wole Soyinka tribute going on at Terra Kulture in honour of the noble laureate's 73rd birthday. All through the month of July, there will be a stage adaptation of a Wole Soyinka play. The tribute entitled A Season of Soyinka started yesterday with a play - the only one not written by Wole Soyinka - called Who's Afraid of Wole Soyinka?.

The play, written by Wole Oguntokun, is a sharp and witty look at the Abacha regime, which satirises real-life characters and events. The eponymous hero never makes an appearance, although there are many references to him. The mention of his name always provokes a strong reaction from the characters, whether it is one of fear, admiration or dislike.

I went in not knowing what the play would be about and loved that I really enjoyed it. It was a shame though that there were so few people at the show that I attended. I've become keenly aware that the arts are generally considered to be a luxury and a priviledge to be enjoyed mostly by the elite. However, there are so many art events that I have attended that didn't cost the earth or were (even better) free. For instance, I went to the Committee for Relevant Arts (CORA)'s annual book and arts fair last year, which was free. Terra Kulture also has exhibitions on and these are free too.

For many artists who I have spoken to, financial gain - while necessary - tends to be far less important than the process of expressing themselves through their art and finding an appreciative audience. Therefore, it must be tough to pour so much passion into works that do not reach as many people as they could. Or perhaps I am wrong. I have also heard some artists say that even if no one read their books, listened to their music or saw their artwork, they would keep on producing them nevertheless because they have stories inside them that they need to tell.

Anyway, A Season of Soyinka continues at Terra Kulture every Sunday this month with 2 shows at 3PM and 6PM. You missed one great play, so please try and check out some of the others.

July 8: The Lion and the Jewel
Directed by Tunji Sotimirin

July 15: Death and the King's Horseman
Directed by Segun Adefila

July 22: Camwood on the Leaves
Directed by Lekan Balogun

July 29: The Jero Plays
Directed by Wole Oguntokun

9 comments:

disgodkidd said...

yay! you updated! thanks for checking up on me big sis. am doing good - counting the days to my service in sept, and working hard as usual.

take me with you for your next outing?

Refinedone said...

Thanks Ore for pointing this out... I have a passion for the Arts in Nigeria, there are so many to enjoy, but not know...That is a market that has not been developed like the fashion industry...

I wish i could have attended :( hopefully i'll make it to the last show!

Please keep spreading the word for the Arts!

obyno said...

Thanks Ore for the heads-up. Following up on the Man can not be anything if not juicy stuff and you are still a hard act to follow.

laspapi said...

Thanks, Ore, this is very nice.

The audience picked up in the 2nd show and word is getting round now, there's "a season" in town.

It was good to have you around.

classybabe said...

I watched Who's afraid of Wole Oguntokun in Unilag by Theatre 15 and i loved it,it was funny

Ore said...

I hope to be able to make some of the other shows and will try to blog about them.

"Who's Afraid of Wole Oguntokun?" huh? I would have loved to see that.

Ayobami said...

Thanks Ore,
I was almost going to Terra for the timing and listing, but u just saved me d stress. I will go for Death and the King's Horsemen (Translated as 'Iku, Olokun Esin' in Yoruba) and Brother Jero Plays.
I intend to enjoy myself to the full.
Thanks again!

laspapi said...

She meant "Who's Afraid Of Wole Soyinka?'. That was 1998. Not yet reached the status where there can be plays about me.

Ore said...

I'm sure it will be someday very soon. :-)