Tuesday, 17 July 2012





At a time were the Arts is being elevated and the world is currently focusing greater attention on the creative industry as vital contributors to the nation's economy. The Performing Arts, especially cinema, are indeed enjoying time out in the sun.

The LUFODO Academy of Performing Arts (LAPA) has been commissioned by the bank of industry to present three stage plays at the Nigeria's Village during the london 2012 Olympics Games.

Speaking with Talker's Diary is the Chairman of the Institute,veteran actor Olu Jacobs, ''we are staging three plays namely; The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka,  Sefi Atta's The Naming Ceremony and The King must Dance Naked by Ola Rotimi".
He describes stage as a "magic of its own".pointing out that everything about entertainment started from the stage ''theatre is coming back but too slow for my liking but am glad it's coming''. According to him this is the second time he will be staging this play with the same director since 1993.

The play is being directed by 76 year old Dr. Bayo Oduneye, former Theatre Arts  lecturer from the University of Ibadan. He describes himself as more of an interpretative director. "I do my  play-right wishes, I present the play the way it should be done, presenting it as it is written. Some directors are creative but you can not create where there is no need for creation, on this set I see a lot of interpretation and I am glad with the cast that I have, the younger ones and the older ones some of which I have worked with before, am glad we still have young people who have so much in them and all they need is somebody who will bring it out of them''.

The King must Dance Naked by Ola Rotimi is set from the Itsekiris in Delta State. Starring: Segun Arinze as Narrator, Najite Dede as King Omajuwa, Joke Silva as  Queen Odosun, Olu Jacobs  as  Chief Aseburuku, Justus Esiri as Chief, Toyin Oshinaike as Chief Ogodobiri, Ayo Ajike as Chief Ofioto ,Ayo Lijadu as Afinotan, Doyin Owobamire as Ololo, Bimbo Akintola as Ogbemi, Paul Alumona as Mejibi and Edmond Enaibe as 2nd Musician.

''Stage is live, its not like a movie where you can rewind",says veteran actor Justus Esiri, " It makes you feel like you are living what is going on".

The immediate past president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Segun Arinze is no doubt a stage person but as the story teller the audience sees the story from his own point of view, his character started by saying " I am one of them a core musician by professional mishap but actually a story teller by birth, my ancestors lived in the quarters telling stories, so its something I inherited from my fathers''.
According to him the director Dr. Bayo Oduneye made him what he is today."he made sure I read Theater Arts in Ife, he personally handed me over to Chuck Mike".
The very emotional of them all is the character of Mejibi played by Paul Alumona," right from his entrance he was very emotional that even as Paul I just couldn't help but let the tears flow".

Ololo the perpetual drunk, played by Doyin Owobamire, has an ear to the ground and knows things that even the king does not know, because he is always found locking around areas where he picks any information and most of the times he hides under the stupor of his drunk to say abominable things.

King Omajuwa the character that must dance Naked played by Najite Dede,a woman who has been raised from childhood to be a man because  she must ascend the throne as part of her mother's plan. she was born a  twin and the boy child was said to be sacrificed instead of the girl child. She finally ascends the throne and became a king and after ruling for 29 years, her land is in trouble and is at this point the story starts. According to Najite Dede "playing a man isn't so hard but what I find very difficult was how a man moves, walking like a man is not the easiest thing for a woman to do, but I think I am on top of it"

Bimbo Akintola plays the character Ogbemi which she describes as a walk-on role, Ololo's wife but playing a lead on another, The Naming ceremony." Am not used to working everyday for a month, am really feeling like a banker",she added.

The production has Emmanuel
Oluseyi as Stage Manager and award winning Iyen Agbonifo the current president of the creative Designers Guild of Nigeria as Costume Designer.
Hopefully lagos and Abuja will witness these plays at their return from the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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