Monday, October 21, 2013

The Promise of SARO, by members of cast and crew


With only a few days to the October 25-27 premiere of the grand Broadway-style musical theatre, SARO The Musical at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Lekki, we asked some of the young, vibrant performers and directors involved in the epoch-making  showpiece created and produced by Bolanle Austen-Peters for BAP Productions and Terra Kulture Art Centre, Lagos.
Below is an excerpt of what they promise the expected audiences:

What do you promise the audience?
Your watching the show is definitely not going to be in vain.
You are going to be blown away; you are going to have a great time; you are going to have a fantastic time watching SARO and you will leave saying wow!!! Personally, I also think it is also going to be a game-changer.
SARO is about the journey to freedom, self-freedom, universal freedom, every kind of freedom. It is the journey of four boys to Lagos; about their trials, tribulations. It is a message of encouragement for the youths.

What do you promise the audience?
 SARO…  is going to be very amazing; you are really going to love it.. the costumes, the music, the choreography, the set, everything. You're going to be blown away, that I promise you.
One of the messages behind SARO… is fighting for your dream and fighting for what you believe in; and not giving up on your dream. Also it is a celebration of music, creativity and the art of Nigerian music. It is also a celebration of music; it's a celebration of creativity in the arts; and through it we learn about the history of Nigerian music through the ages. It's a great reminder of our culture and where our roots are from.

Adesua Etomi
What promise for the audience?
SARO… is going to be so worth your while that you might want to watch it the second time. It is going to be a show people are going to be talking about for a while. SARO is an idea that will play in your mind over and over again.
It is the story of hope, and hope is something that is needed in our everyday life. It also explores the theme of love, hate, jealousy, sadness… everything that we go through during our everyday life(s).

What promise for the audience?
SARO is really going to be the bomb. I have never done a musical show as big as SARO The Musical; it’s really a big one; it is explosive; it’s magical. I am actually known as a singer but in SARO, I get to act, dance; so you are going to see a different Olumide that day -- singing, acting and dancing that day.
SARO is a production that shows togetherness… one of the moral is togetherness no matter how difficult the situation is; either bad or good.

What do you promise the audience?
I am sure the audience will come and they will see through actors who are telling the truth with their craft. People will come and I'm sure they will identify with one or two characters in the play and say; "oh, I passed through that"; "I went through that". They will experience it all.
SARO means the land of freedom; the word connotes relief from bondage. But for me as an actor playing a role in the play,
it means freedom from that mental bondage that says you cannot go beyond where you are; the freedom to be whatever you are meant to be regardless of the circumstances around you.


What do you promise the audience?
I am promising everybody out there that SARO is going to change the face of theatre in Nigeria.
Apart from the fact that SARO is entertaining, it it also educative. In SARO, you get to the journey of music(s). SARO has come to enlighten people and it is something we can easily relate with and for those who were not able to witness what happened back then, SARO has come to bring everything to them.
What do you promise the audience?
SARO is not going to be boring; it is going to be very entertaining, educative and also an experience that will push you in life itself. You will really get a message that will help you as an individual. SARO will also
make you laugh, cry… and more.
SARO in general says that if you really want something done; you don't have to give up. The message is to get up and move; you don't have to wait for the next man.

What do you promise the audience?
You must not miss out on this how because this is the biggest event currently on stage – in musical, and performing arts in Nigeria today; and it will change a lot of lives.
SARO in general is saying to the people that you cannot talk about the present without the past and you cannot do without the present even if you're from the past. It's just to find the balance, pushing the vision, pushing your dream no matter how hard or difficult it may seem.


MAXWELL MATHEW – (Dance Choreographer)  
What do you promise the audience?
When they come to see the show, they'll be shocked; in a good way, surprised and entertained because whatever they're going to see on stage is what they have not seen before.
SARO is enlightening a lot of people about themselves. It is about the hardship you put into achieving your dream because you believe in your tomorrow. The message SARO is sending out to the people is the benefit of today's hard work in tomorrow's glory. SARO is basically telling people to believe in their tomorrow and to work hard to achieve that.

AYO AJAYI (Director of Music)

What do you promise the audience?
As the music director for SARO,  I'm very sure that the guests out there have not seen music in this form before. We're going to delve into the historical archive of Nigerian music in the 60s, 70s and the recent genres of this generation. Merge them, to give everyone a memorable experience.
It’s going to be a great event and I want everybody to come and witness this epoch-making event. There is not going to be anything like it.
SARO is the story of love, of emotions; story of freedom. The real message of SARO is to never give up on your dream. When you have a dream or a vision that you believe in, you should follow it no matter the cost. The story of SARO is basically about the determination to succeed and it also sends across the message of freedom.

GBENGA YUSSUF (Director of Dance)

What do you promise the audience?
We're about to raise the standard of theatrical presentations; we're about to push it up. That is the promise. The audience should come with an open mind and be ready to be blown away. My final message to them is to make it a date with SARO because it will open a new chapter in their life and in the life of this country at large.
For the first time, a complete musical is happening in Nigeria and in Lagos, produced entirely by Nigerians with no foreign influence.
SARO is basically about pushing the boundaries. It's a show about the history of Lagos State, the early settlers in Lagos; the Saros who were Sierra Leonean immigrants. It's a show about perseverance, pursuing your dreams and making very good use of your God given talent.

MAKINDE ADENIRAN (Executive Artistic Director)

What do you promise the audience?
Only for them to wait, to behold what is called entertainment and at the same time, make impact. Look hard into the education we have to pass across because the generation is in a more difficult situation. It is the generation referred to as jet age; everything is coming their way but they don't have a strand to hold it logically for them. If they are not careful, they are doomed. If they are over careful, they don't survive.
SARO is the greener pastures that we all seek, whether in project, in moving from environment and all of that. Most importantly it is the journey of the determination to succeed. What are the expectations? The feedback of your determination, because at times people don't really think about that, stepping back and thinking what if this my plan is met with other things there and I'm confronted with issues beyond my hands, how do I handle it? Example is those who feel going away from Nigeria to London is where they will make it and then they get to London; there is another equation they are faced with. So, many end up spending years because they don't know where to start from. Some of them come back home frustrated not able to cope anymore because the people they left at home would have climbed up the ladder of success and they are still at the bottom. In some case study, some people survive, but 'what if'? SARO is more like a philosophy of 'what if'? The four boys in SARO, they left their village saying when we get to Lagos we will meet fame but when they got to Lagos the first thing they are confronted with (laughs) is the character of the environment. Not necessarily because it’s good or bad; it is because it  is out of equation for them. It landed them in the cell. So, it is that actual philosophy of 'what if'.

TEJU KAREEM (Director of Technical, Consultant)

What do you promise the audience?
Well, all I can say is that if you want goose pimples, come watch SARO. I'm promising you goose pimples because SARO is going to do the same thing it has done to the Executive Producer, Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters. What has it done to her? SARO has eaten her up. She has taken a plunge into it and she has been consumed by the project SARO and she has not spared any of us that she brought into the project. Every one of us, every actor has been eaten up by SARO; we eat, live, drink, sleep and breathe SARO. We quarrel about SARO, we're happy about SARO. Believe me, anybody that comes into that hall and will see SARO The Musical is going to be super entertained because we put in our whole being into the production of this play.

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