The Theatre

THE MAD KING OF IJUDIYA

Written by Ayo Jaiyesimi

The Mad King of Ijudiya features an awed king – King Ero ba n’ise, the great King of Ijudiya. Arrogant, defiant and feared, his discovery of a rival within his territory makes him completely “flip his lid” and he goes to an outrageous extent to prove that he is the only one ordained by the gods to rule. Furthermore, annoying to the King, is the discovery that the new entrant on the scene is a mere child. In order to eliminate the encroachment on his sovereignty by this rather strange opposition, Ero ba n’ise employs every means this get this “nuisance” out of his way.

THE FIVE MAIDS OF FADAKA

Written by Ayo Jaiyesimi

The Five Maids of Fadaka is a total theatre concept involving dance, drama and music, with the story centred on a King’s lavish ceremony and the native preparations that usually go along with it. In selecting the bridal train, he invites young maidens from the neighbouring villages to what seems like a beauty contest. In this contest, the main focus is not on the outward beauty, but a test on the inner constitution and character of the contestants….The rich cultural setting and storyline invokes a nostalgic feeling and readily engraves in the minds of the audience, the beauty of Nigeria’s diversity, and if pulled together, will make us truly unified as a people. This truly celebrates the essence of “Naija” – Unity in Diversity. This is the ultimate!

THE WIZARD OF LAW

Written by Zulu Sofola

The Wizard of Law is about an old lawyer who has met with reversals of his fortunes, and who tries to impress his wife at a festive period by purchasing nine meters of lace fabric on credit. The cloth seller takes advantage of this opportunity to inflate the prices of cloths in order to make a heavy gain. The lawyer, not having enough money to pay the seller, plunges deeper into trouble. He desperately looks for a court case through which he would get the needed money. Akpan, a goat-keeper, provides the much sought-after court case, but does the lawyer, Ramoni Alao, wangle his way out of the messy tangle?It’s a game of the wits between the lawyer, the cloth seller, and the goat-keeper. Simply hilarious!

THE LION AND THE JEWEL

Written by Wole Soyinka

The Lion and the Jewel is about the tussle between a young, urban-trained village teacher, Lakunle, and an old crafty village Chief, Baroka, for the love of beautiful Sidi. Who wins Sidi’s hand in marriage? Apart from being tremendously entertaining, the play showcases the constant tension experienced between old and evolving cultures, and how change may be difficult to achieve without having a deep understanding of the underlying issues and context.

ÌTÀN – THE STORY

Written by Ayo Jaiyesimi

ÌTÀN (The Story) is an intriguing play laced with both cultural and contemporary dance and music. In ÌTÀN, an ‘old school-die-hard’ village elder is shocked to realise that his lost and found ‘city roller-coaster’ grandson, wants no part in his world. Both rooted in their beliefs, they battle for supremacy for themselves and their generations. As the contest heats up, TIME (personified as Àsìkò) catches up with them and takes them on a journey, first into the past and then into the future. They discover dark secrets that have been shrouded by the veil of time. Will Asiko’s intervention save the day or tear both worlds further apart? The story unfolds in this 90-minute play by Ayo Jaiyesimi.

THE CRYSTAL SLIPPER

Written by Ayo Jaiyesimi

In The Crystal Slipper, although Adesewa had “lost” her mother, the only world she knew was one of beauty, love, and the joy of being the centre of her father’s attention. Her father decides to remarry, and for Sewa, that should be the crown of her joy. Her world would be complete again……..A loving father, a happy home, and now, the mother that she had always longed for. However, Sewa gets much more than she bargained for! Greatly enriched with dance and drama, The Crystal Slipper is very entertaining, and transports the audience’s feelings through a personal experience of suspense, humour, and delight. The audience is also woven into the play, and therefore, every moment of the performance is electrifying!

Midnight Hotel

Written by Femi Osofisan

Midnight Hotel, is a humorous satire showcasing the socio-political challenges faced by the country, post-independence. The unique quality of this work lies in its rib cracking humour, ironies, sarcasm, iconographies, witty use of proverbs, and the intense use of metaphors.
The Hotel and its various inmates, typify persons, trades, systems, communities – in fact, the whole ecosystem that makes up the entire country. This mirrors some of the events, behaviours and issues that everyone talks about, but not many doing anything about it.

Uŋwana

Written by Ayo Jaiyesimi

Uŋwana (meaning ‘Daylight’ in Efik language) is a story of prestige, power, love, passion, betrayal, sacrilege, renewal and celebration as it recreates themes that run across the centuries of history woven together excitedly in one story. Inyang Effiong, fiery and secure in his sovereignty, is a rich slave merchant. Basking in his ultimate dream to bring his rival to his knees, he successfully outsmarts his rival in a trade deal, which calls for celebration - a festival! With grand plans to thoroughly revel in his glory, bad news strikes when one of his wives delivers twins! That was the ultimate taboo and this strange messenger from the land of the spirits must be allowed to unleash havoc on an otherwise successful reign. Banished, and with the evil children sentenced to death, Aret seems to have come to the end of the road. With a great sense of betrayal, she leaves the life of affluence, as Inyang, thankful to have purged himself of the doom that she was bound to bring, takes a new wife. What happens to Aret and her evil children? And what is in store for this power broker? Laced with rich dance, rich costumes and incorporating expressions in the main dialects of Efik, Ibibio and Eket, Uŋwana is a must watch!

The Trials of Brother Jero

Written by Wole Soyinka

The Trials of Brother Jero is one of the most hilarious satires of Wole Soyinka. It reveals how some politicians, religious leaders and certain people in power, exploit the vulnerable citizenry who look up to them for guidance and protection. Velvet-voiced Prophet Jeroboam turns out to be a racketeering bumpkin who turns the beachfront into his business terrain.

The Gods Are Not to Blame

Written by Ola Rotimi

The Gods Are Not to Blame, written by Ola Rotimi, is the traditional adaptation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. The joy of parenthood is cut short when King Adetusa and Queen Ojuola find out from the oracle that their first son is destined to bring them calamity! This handsome little bundle of joy will kill his father, and marry his mother. The only way deemed best to avert this is to kill him. What happens to this child? Are his parents able to thwart the heavy sentence pronounced on them from the world beyond? Who is to blame in the turn of events? This production is a rich cultural play with dance, folklore and costume.

Altine’s Wrath

Written by Femi Osofisan

Something is not quite right in Altine and Lawal Jatau’s household! Lawal is an extravagant, affluent and highly placed elite who has nothing but disdain for his stark illiterate wife. He gets the shock of his life when he discovers that she is not exactly as dumb as she feigns.

Barcode Dialogue

Written by Atinuke Aweda

Barcode Dialogue, written by Atinuke Aweda, captures the thrills, intricacies and dark secrets in the lives of a young couple who seem to be losing their grip barely months after their marriage. Is the vivacious and confidant Ayo naively losing her erratic husband, Dele, to Tosan, her close friend? Well, Ayo smartly uncovers their tracks but not without serving everyone a surprise of her own!