Theatre lovers in Lagos were treated to an exciting and thrilling performance of Alibaba and a 20-man cast on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at the Agip Recital Hall, Muson Centre, Lagos.
Each performance opened with traditional and contemporary Nigerian music played live and accompanied by energetic dances with rich dialogue. The high energy level was astonishingly the same all through the three shows.
Each show lasted for two hours as every scene, move, song, dance and word told the Nigerian story in the most acerbic yet humorous way that stunned the audience. Each scene weaved through the famous "Agege” bread seller turned super model story, the infamous "what if you are a widow? Go and die" story, a prominent politician’s 3-page letter, amongst other themes.
The shows highlighted the prevalent issues of fuel scarcity, Boko Haram insurgency, political instability, and the unfortunate kidnap of the Chibok girls, all narrated in the most comical yet thought-stirring way that left audiences giving resounding applause scene after scene.
The budding 12- year old actress Chantel Edgar, played one of the rescued Chibok girls. She delivered a heart-wrenching monologue that left the audience in tears as they clapped. She cried for peace and asked that the younger generation be given the chance to lead Nigeria.
In an interesting twist of events, one of the cast members, Paul Alumona together with other cast members, serenaded the audience with a dance to "kokoro ife" by Gabriel Afoloyan before proposing to his girlfriend, Adebola on stage. It was so magical the excited audience initially thought it was all part of the show.
As the play ended, the director, William Benson, introduced cast members and there was a standing ovation as he introduced veteran Tunde Alabi, who gave a brief yet terrific performance that awakened memories of the good old soap opera "Village Headmaster" in which he played "Aditu".
It was indeed an awesome experience evoking a myriad of feelings from audiences. Feedback from the audience revealed tremendous acceptance and a yearning for a repeat of the performance.
More wit, humour and directness has never been seen on screen nor adapted into a stage play so impeccably.
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