‘Faith, trust and doubt. In the harsh world of The Road, everything depends on trust. It’s a constant tension about whether you can trust the person you meet on the road or not’
AFTER two successful runs at the National Teatre, Iganmu, Lagos on Sunday, Sept 3, and Tuesday, Sept 5, Wole Soyinka’s classic play, The Road, will on Thursday, September 8, berth at the Art Factory, the community art center located at 32 Awobodu street i Pedro area of Shomolu in Bariga, Lagos.
The presentation is courtesy of visiting Israeli Africa Stage from Tel Aviv. The opening command show was witnessed by a full house of art patrons, including the playwright himself, Soyinka and his wife, Folake, and envoys from the Israeli embassy, Abuja, and the German consulate in Lagos. It was hosted by the management of the National Theatre of Nigeria in conjunction with Crown Troupe of Africa, O’Jez Hotel & Suites, and other agencies.
The Art Factory show is hosted by the ever-busy Crown Troupe of Africa, the 27-year-old art merchants led by the multi-dimensional artiste, Segun Adefila, who said the presentation will take a different format, from the National Theatre’s.
“The Art Factory is a community space, and so the performance has to have a flavour of the community’s colour and character. Besides, the Crown Troupe is renowned for our own unique presentational style, and, these unique resources we shall persuade our guests to inject these into their otherwise well-produced performance,” said Adefila.
He reminded that the Crown Troupe had only recently presented the same play at the Glover Memorial Hall, in Lagos and at the Art Factory, “so, the audiences in Somolu-Bariga axis still have fresh memories of the performance which was laced with music and dance and mimesis peculiar to Nigerian and African cultural experiences.”
In a short note by the production company, the synopsis of the rarely performed drama text is captured as: “Faith, trust and doubt. In the harsh world of The Road, everything depends on trust. It’s a constant tension about whether you can trust the person you meet on the road or not.”
Directed by Yaffa Schuster, with original music score by Andreas Svensson, the production stars Adisalem Alamo. Alemwork Ayele. Elad Konfino. Getachew Hunegnaw Mahmoud Mora. Michael Edlis. Yahel Pappo. the technical director is Gili Godiano.
About: African-Israeli Stage
AN Israeli NGO, the company recognises long-standing structural imbalances in how the arts – particularly those that originate from Africa – are promoted and presented to the public.
“The Theatre repertoire “portrays African plays focusing on contemporary and classical creations of African playwrights and authors, as well as plays describing the experience of immigrants, migrant workers, and refugees.”
In its mission and objectives, the company it recognises its role as a supporter of African culture. It “seeks to contribute to the cultural ‘conversation’, rather than dominate it; it takes a positive, rather than critical perspective on African culture (and by extension, on Africa itself); and ultimately, it looks to enrich the Israeli culture discourse, by helping to create a space within it for African arts and culture, as well as for minority culture.
“The strength and unique quality of the African-Israeli Stage is in creating opportunities for inter-cultural contacts. The professional ensemble of actors, musicians, and creators includes among its participants veteran Israelis, Ethiopian immigrants, African immigrants, Asylum seekers, and Israeli-Palestinian actors, who transcend their daily existences to create a community of understanding and acceptance without minimising the differences and conflicts that exist across different cultural and religious identities.
Company highlights include performing Soyinka’s “A Dance of the Forests”, written by Wole Soyinka at Habima Theatre, July 2014; “The Lion and the Jewel’, February 2012 at “Södra Theatre” in Stockholm; November 2010, at The National Theatre of Nigeria in Lagos; The Edinburgh Festival, where it received good critics for its performance. Artistic work includes a focus on marginalised communities such as the Asylum seekers from Darfur and Sudan and Ethiopian immigrants’ everyday struggles.
“Recently we have introduced “Little Africa”, a series of Soirees that present a curated cross-section of arts and culture from across Africa and the African diaspora, including but not limited to visual arts, literature, and non-fiction writing, poetry, dance, theatre, and cinema.”
Chairman Prof. Avraham Oz, Actors, and artists work for artistic payment while CEO volunteers her salary. The budget comes from Municipalities as well as from sponsoring companies with an interest in Human Rights and Arts.