The electrifying atmosphere at the venue, the huge multi-dimensional sets, the colourful, expressive costumes, the elaborate light and sound effects plus the cast, who were all students of Meadow Hall School, showed the quality of vision of the producers of the show, which held at Muson Centre, Onikan on Sunday, March 13. On that day, the cast from Meadow Hall thrilled the audience with three playlets from the repertoire of Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.
The first play titled “A Play of Giants”, which featured over 50 cast members, centred on Africa in the post-colonial era, which has been inundated with leaders who seek to make their leadership positions a family birthright and do everything from corruption to genocide to ensure their perpetual stay in power. A Play of Giants is a satire about the ‘meeting’ of four African dictators, discussing how they have been able to silence opposition (foreign and local) and how citizens of the different countries have responded to such brutality and corruption.
‘Child Internationale’, the second play, which featured about 20 cast members, is an intriguing play that sheds light on the different views adults have as regards parenting. Bidemi Oyedepo, the producer of “Child Internationale” had this to say: “Stage plays go a long way in making students more intelligent, as well as boosting their confidence.’’ The third show titled ‘Alapata Apata’ is a musical comedy centred on the eponymous ‘Alapata Apata’. It featured over 100 cast members, singing and dancing around the rocky residence of a retired butcher who simply sought to enjoy his retirement in solitude. Alaba, the retired butcher, is a comic character whose idleness is disturbed by various groups who read different meanings into why he has retired to live on a rock close to his house.
Speaking on the production, the producer of ‘Alapata Apata’ Ola Opesan said, “the idea of having to make a short dance drama out of a rather full piece – Alapata Apata, as well as make it simple enough for children, without compromising the message of our Noble Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, seemed very challenging at first.’’
In his words, he said ‘‘a vital lesson in the course of this production is not to underestimate the power and potential of students to deliver beyond what you expect.’’
One of the students, Ashepe, who played the role of Alaba in the play said: “I am very happy for the opportunity given to me by the school to bring out the talent in me. Although the role was very challenging, I thank my mother for her assistance.”