So come October 25, 26 and 27 at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, the talented and skilful cast and crew will walk that talk.
There has only been four weeks of rehearsals, but the select few who are privy to the sessions can attest to the incredible energy that takes over whenever the cast and crew gather. Some have likened it to a luminous rainbow after many days of rain and flood. But it is no surprise that this production will rival most in its category on the Nigerian drama scene.
For one, musical stage productions have been few and far between, and then there is the fact that everyone involved in the project has got an intimidating CV.
But most importantly is the passion which flows from the very top of the production’s organogram. Bolanle Austen-Peters has always loved the arts even though she studied Law and Politics and worked at the United Nations in Geneva, among other places. However, the love for arts brought her back to Nigeria where she started Terra Kulture.
For her, Saro is happening because of a dream “to produce the best and biggest stage production Nigeria has ever seen”. Considering the calibre of people she has put together, that dream is well on the way to being realised. Makinde Adeniran, foremost Nigerian director, is the executive artistic director on the project.
Adeniran studied directing at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and has since then directed notable plays like: Death and the King’s Horseman, Who’s Afraid Of Solarin and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat, among many others as well as written many a drama scripts for stage, television and radio.
The two directors: Gbenga Yusuf and Kenneth Uphopho are heavyweights in their own rights, so are the Technical Director (Lights & Sound), Teju Kareem (Zmirage) and Music Director, Ayo Ajayi (MUSON Centre). The cast parades other reputable names including: Kemi Lala Akindoju, Paul Alumona, Linda Anumba Nwanneka, Eferoghene Awusa, William Benson, Okafor Francis Chibuzor, Awele Dekpe, Patrick Diabuah, Adesuwa Etomi and Anthony Offiong Edet,Tomi Odunsi among several others. In fact, there is a 75-man cast composed of a 25-man orchestra and other actors.
These members of the cast and crew have come together to light up stages not just in Nigeria, but, like the story of the performers in the play, most of the places they will be going to around the world.
They will sing, dance and act to the delight of various audiences. Conceived as a patriotic cultural project, Saro’s plot revolves round a group of young performers who go in search of their destiny.
That search takes them to Lagos, a land that promises limitless opportunities. Their journey is loaded with emotions like: love, fear, jealousy, which mix takes them to the success they want. They also seek freedom and Lagos has the potential to offer these emerging artists an escape from poverty. But a devastating experience lands them in the lap of destiny, success ignites them and love fuels them.