Written by AKINTAYO ABODUNRIN
Nigerian Tribune, Sunday, 15 September 2013
Eng. Yemisi Shyllon, Mrs Austen peters and Tuface at the preview
A select and eminent Lagos audience treated to a preview of the musical commend its quality and relevance
Eminent Nigerians at the preview of ‘Saro’ held at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos on Tuesday, September 10, have rated the production set to open at Oriental Hotel, Lekki next month high. Though they were only shown four out of the play’s 14 scenes, they expressed happiness with what they saw and commended its good music, dance and relevance.
“It’s a wonderful piece. I just hope it’s not going to be too long. The music is wonderful, the dancing too. Just two things and I will communicate them to the director,” said Professor Ahmed Yerima, former General Manager of the National Theatre, who was among the select people who saw the production.
Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Disu Holloway was equally impressed by the production, saying that: “What I’ve seen this morning excites me very much. We will see what we can do to support you but don’t make it too long. What struck me was the timing and sequence; it was well timed.
I haven’t seen that in Nigeria and I commend you. We are too busy in Lagos running after so many things; we have to create, put soul back into this city and this is one of such efforts.”
Veteran actress, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, also had kind words. “We don’t have enough of theatre in Lagos, in Nigeria so this is a welcome change. The music is wonderful and the acting fantastic. Thank you for this production,” she said. The actress also touched on the relevance of the play to the society, expressing the hope that people will take lessons away from it and not just be entertained.“We can laugh but we must take something home. Parents have to do something about what is happening in our society; we can still entertain, inform and educate our people.”
Lawyer and art patron, Myma Bello-Osagie, said that with the coming of ‘Saro’, Lagos, fast becoming a megacity, will be able to give the world more than music. She highlighted the importance of live theatre and why it should be encouraged.
Celebrated TV presenter and founder of Ebony TV, Mo Abudu said: “I totally enjoyed it. It was funny and a reflection of our society. It shows us what we need to do; we have to show our reality. A play like this allows us to reflect on our society though it’s painful and hurts, it’s our reflection.”
Writer and stage actor turned film producer, Chris Ihidero, said the quality of the play, especially its opening music wowed him. He disclosed that if he had remained a stage actor, he would have been part of the production. “I was on stage till 2007 when I moved into film. If I was still in theatre, I will be on this stage. This is so fantastic; that opening music. You have done more than theatre already, I see film and I’m jealous.”
Scholar, director and critic, Dr. Tunde Awosanmi also commended the production but noted that there is room for improvement. The director of ‘Yeepa! Solarin Mbo’ and ‘Adventures of the Sugar Cane Man’ amongst others said: “It is a very promising show. It has so many highpoints; if out of just four scenes, we could record that number of highpoints then by the time it stretches, you can know what I’m talking about. However, we will need to be very conscious of parallels; the influence of certain productions which had preceded this. I was beginning to see the parallels and they are quite visible; I could, in the structure of the piece, see some very classical replication and we have to be very careful of it. Then, there is a need for this production to employ a speech coach.
“I know that it’s a production that is likely to cut across ages and generations but I think we should be more conscious of the youth because it’s a youth story. Coincidentally, as I was walking out of the hall, I saw one of the people who are today famous in the music scene; who came into Lagos like one of those characters, I mean Tuface. So I can say to you, and this is not being generous, this is not being critically magnanimous, that this show has a lot of relevance. It is current to the Nigerian story and that is one thing that is very significant about it. And of course, this show shouldn’t last longer than an hour and 45 minutes.”
Speaking earlier, Bolanle Austen-Peters said she was inspired to write and fund the production because she wasn’t happy that foreign productions were being imported to the country when Nigeria has its own quality plays that can tour the world. Besides, she sees the production as an avenue to create jobs and harness the creative talents of Nigerian youths.
She added that though funding has remained an issue, she is able to produce ‘Saro’ because she already has the facility (Terra Kulture) and because she wants to project the brand name. She thanked her collaborators including Zmirage Multimedia and called on corporate Nigeria to start backing local productions.
Culled from the Nigerian Tribune - Here
Culled from the Nigerian Tribune - Here