JA Control Panle

Peoples Daily

Home Life Style Art & Culture Despite these times...

Despite these times...

E-mail Print PDF

FROM THE LIVE STAGE with Patrick-Jude Oteh

0803  700  0496, 0805 953 5215 (SMS only)

In our recent production of Chinua Achebe’s ARROW OF GOD as adapted for the stage by Professor Emeka Nwabueze and called WHEN THE ARROW REBOUNDS one of the characters Nnanyelugo asks ‘how do you carry a man with a broken waist?’

This is the story of our country right now. How do you begin to carry such a case? Every morning you wake up and you find there is absolutely no inspiration anywhere. The series of bad news is simply too much. What exactly is happening? In these confounding times, our leaders are just moving from one crisis to the other and there is none of them that invokes that element of the human that simply gives you the confidence that we will be able to weather this storm and in the midst of all these there are too many fifth columnists and mischief makers that a lot is simply bewildering to the senses.

We just got back from Lagos after our participation at the MUSON festival. We had two performances – at 3pm and 6pm. Our performances were very well received by an audience made up of the cream of the society as well as theatre enthusiasts who were desirous of experiencing good theatre. But the two audiences were remarkably different – the 3pm audience was more subdued and sober but they were following the play. It was an audience that was made up of people who if you had dropped a pin in their midst you would hear it fall. Their appreciation was however glaring at the end of the play when they erupted in rapturous applause at the cast and crew. The evening audience was more upbeat and made up of younger people. They simply wanted a good laugh and the play provided many of such even within its seriousness of the issues being discussed. And when the eventual tragedy befell the house of Ezeulu, you could hear the pin drop and there were a few sighs and ‘oh no!’ in the audience.

In my estimation as a theatre director, I was satisfied with the reception of the play as well as the outcome. It was after the play that a great weariness enveloped me and I just slumped in a chair in the lighting booth. The production was a culmination of many months of negotiations and we left with the satisfaction that we gave a good account of ourselves and our calling as artistes.

We entered Lagos on Friday morning at 12.48am having left Jos on Thursday morningat 7.23am. The roads have become a most harrowing experience and the constant and consistent gridlock at Okeneis another story for another day. There are points you get to and you simply feel like carrying the bus on your head and trekking. What kind of country is this? This is a constant question that has refused to give me answers. There are times when one just feels that the entire nation is one huge jungle and we all are its inhabitants!

It is a miracle that despite these times we still manage to create. Our simple thanks go to the MUSON management for making it possible for us to share our talents with the city of Lagos. A lot of our artistes were coming to Lagos for the first time in their lives and it has been a life changing experience. I tell people that somewhere along the line here lies one solution to the Jos situation – a lot of our young people need to travel and get out of their immediate surroundings. They need to see life outside of their immediate environment. It is not a cheap enterprise but then who says life changing experiences are?

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Nigerian News Video

Today's Front Page


NASIR EL-RUFAI ON FRIDAY  Still on failing state and  fading peacekeepers

ABUJA DAIRY  The questionable N80m AMAC accumulated waste debt

WATCH DOG  Coaches’ ranting over technical director’s appointment

ISLAM EXPLAINED  The seven most prosperous people on the resurrection day (II)