Sunday, November 02, 2008

Theatre in Lagos

It's good to see more people taking an interest in the arts. I went to see The Lion and the Jewel at Terra Kulture today. And it was refreshing to see more than 10 people in the audience. Theatre@Terra has gradually gained in momentum since its inception a little over a year ago. However, I remember the early days when there could be 5 people in the audience. I guess what we lacked in numbers, we tried to make-up in terms of audience reaction.

At today's 3PM performance there were about 33 people (yes, I counted) and I am sure there were even more people at the 6PM showing because I think that tends to get more of a crowd.

Although the numbers might not appear worth jumping over the moon for; particularly for the director and producer who have slaved to pull the production together, I think it is somewhat encouraging. Especially considering the numbers of people I know who have any interest in the theatre.

Last Sunday I went to see Aluta & Osusu Owo, a dance-drama production by the Crown Troupe of Africa at Studio 868. Crowne Troupe used to perform the Bukateria series every 3rd Sunday of the month at Terra Kulture, before Theatre@Terra took over. I wasn't sure what happened to them, but a friend told me that they have been performing at the National Theatre for a while. Now they are extending their performances for the island crowd at Studio 868 (on Bishop Aboyade Street, VI). This takes place every last Sunday of the month (I believe) at 3PM and 5PM.

I really enjoyed it last week. Although both featuring strong elements of music and dance, the Crowne Troupe's production is very different from what you will see at Theatre@Terra. CT features skits and shorter pieces as opposed to one story. The pieces are intended to be a witty and sometimes sarcastic commentary on life in Nigeria. The performances also featured the folk music group Nefertiti, as well as a troupe of children dancers and drummers called Footprints.

There were not many people at the show though - maybe 10 (and I have a feeling most were family and friends of the performers). I suppose it takes time to build up some momentum. Word-of-mouth seems to be the most powerful way to draw people to a show, so I'm telling you to go if you can. I'll put up the dates of the next shows.

6 comments:

Titiloye Francis said...

there are two things that affects audience presence: price and television.I am a theater student and this worries me a lot. Kudos to all those who keep the stage alive. But thee is need for more information and close association with the populace.

Ore said...

Aside from price and television, there are so many other 'distractions' from theatre. Cinema draws so many people - both young and old - and I know many who prefer it to the thought of going to see a stage play.

I think, however, for many young people especially, if plays draw on or are set within a somewhat familiar context, this can draw them in.

I enjoy theatre, though agree that it can sometimes be quite expensive.

lila3 said...

hi! i'd really apreciate it if somebody could inform me about theatre in nigeria, i'm studying acting and i'm from greece. i'd like to know what kind of theatre u can watch in nigeria.

Ore said...

Hi Lila3,

Thanks for your comment. You can watch a wide variety of theatre here in Nigeria. I should say in the city of Lagos, since that is where I live and am more familiar with.

Many of the plays I have seen have incorporated music and dancing.

If you want to know what's showing, you can check these websites:
Bella Naija: http://www.bellanaija.com

The Life House:
http://thelifehouselagos.com/

TerraKulture: http://www.terrakulture.com/

lila3 said...

thank you so much, your help was trully enlighting!!!!!

Ore said...

You're welcome, Lila3. Please stop by anytime.