In a brief chat with the News Agency of Nigeria, Joseph Edgar, Executive Chairman of Frontline theatre company, Duke of Shomolu Productions, has given reasons why his firm is producing four major historical plays this December in Lagos.
Fresh from the highly successful Emir Sanusi play, which was held simultaneously in Lagos and Abuja, Edgar stated that the momentum created by the over 4-year journey of staging plays with very strong historical content must be sustained.
He continued by saying that Nigerians have started responding to the vision, as can be seen by the crowds that have attended all the shows in the various parts of the country where they have been staged.
In the last four years, Duke of Shomolu Productions has staged massive stage productions like Isale Eko, Emotan, Ogiame Erejuwa 11, Ufok Ibaan, amongst others, in various cities across the country, including Lagos, Abeokuta, Benin, Uyo, Warri, and most recently Abuja.
It’s Emir Sanusi, which was held simultaneously in Lagos and Abuja, drew massive crowds, including the much revered Khalifa Muhammadu Sanusi II, who watched both shows in the two cities.
Edgar further announced that this December, Ufok Ibaan and Ogiame Erejuwa II, which was written and directed by William Benson; Awo, written and directed by Makinde Adeniran; and Our Duke Has Gone Made Again, written and directed by Segun Adefila, would all play the Agip Recital Hall of the Muson Centre every weekend this December.
He further explained the choice of the plays.
Ufok Ibaan, which is a depiction of the Ikot Abasi women’s uprising of 1929, was staged in Uyo to massive applause, while Ogiame Erejuwa was also staged in Warri with the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, Dein of Agbo, and the Asagba of Asaba in attendance.
The need to bring these wonderful productions to the Lagos audience cannot be overemphasized.
Awo played at the Glover Memorial Hall in Lagos and attracted the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, the Speaker of the House of Reps, Hon. Femi Gbajabimiala, and the Executive Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu. It received massive applause.
Our Duke Has Gone Mad Again is a modern-day pseudo-monologue take on contemporary issues affecting Nigeria. It leans heavily on the writings of Joseph Edgar, who runs one of the most read newspaper columns in the country today.
The play takes a satirical look at leadership, society, sex, family, and other such issues that engage Nigerians.
Using satire and hard-hitting humor, the play delivers an engrossing punchline that captivates audiences.
In conclusion, Edgar affirmed that an estimated 10,000 people are expected to physically see these plays, while another 100,000 will see them through a robust live streaming initiative.
Already, corporates like First Bank of Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Purple Group, amongst others, have already stated a very strong interest in the mini festival
Joseph Edgar, Executive Chairman, Duke of Shomolu Productions