Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Saro: Nigeria's own Broadway-type musicals born in Lagos --- THE AFRICA REPORT

Nigeria's first Broadway style musical production has opened in the country's economic capital, Lagos.

Saro, the musical opened in Lagos and is set for the road. The production of Saro has been tipped to lead a renaissance in Nigerian theatre, and put cities like Lagos on the same pedestal as Broadway in New York and London's West End.

“we can do it better here, thereby creating jobs for our youths”

Theatre attendance in Lagos has been threatened by "Nollywood" - the country's inexhaustible film industry.

Despite stiff challenges from Nollywood screen productions, however, Saro has attracted Nigerians from all works of life.

The makers of the musical have referred to Saro as revolutionary and are hoping it would set a new trend for Nigerian theatre.

Theatre producers have also had to worry about the high cost of renting traditional venues. But the perceived success of Saro suggests a brighter future for Nigerian theatre after it received resounding reviews and appreciation for a resurging art form.

Professor Ahmed Yerima, a former Artistic Director of national Troupe and theatre lecturer at Redeemer University, commended Terra-Kulture and advised that "others should emulate and create more of this".

Disu Holloway Lagos State Commissioner for Culture and Inter-Governmental Affairs said: "Lagosians are too busy to create time for leisure, but with a show like Saro one could relax in an atmosphere of humour and fun".

Theatre personality, Taiwo Ajayi Lycett said the show brought alive the ills of the society through dance drama. She called on corporate bodies to sponsor a great show like this.

Creator and producer Bolanle Austen-Peters, managing director of Terra Kulture said Saro came out of a challenge after she saw what Broadway had done with Fela.

"Having the potentials and human resources; we can do it better here, thereby creating jobs for our youths," Austen-Peters said.

Saro is the story of four young men who are determined to break the yoke of frustration and lack of opportunities to explore their talents and realise their dreams. It is a story of people seeking a better life in Lagos, which they see as a place of opportunity.

The musical commanded a 100 member crew drawn from international and local professionals including the directors, producers, musicians, actors/actresses, dancers and choreographers.

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