HOW 3SOME SHOCKED LAGOS THEATRE FESTIVAL AUDIENCE

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Yinka Olatunbosun

Nudity is not a strange sight in television drama and movies but on stage, it is almost like a sacrilege. But if drama is really the imitation of life, then realism was what came knocking at the Amphitheatre last Sunday. At one of the fringe’s shows inside the Lagos Theatre Festival, many arrived in droves, as the four-man drama, 3Some, written by Jude Idada drew the audience really wild what with the bewildering stripping live on stage. Directed by Yemi Akintokun, starring Daniel Effiong, Uzor Osimkpa and Kemi Bickersteth.

The drama was simple and quite believable. It’s a story of a young man, newly married who is undergoing a crisis period in his marriage. He suspects that his beautiful wife may be having unconventional sexual preferences and even multiple sex partners. He surfs through her chat rooms and emails and a fight erupts. His mother-in-law wades in, offering practical advice on how to mend the rather sensitive dispute. But the young wife moves out in anger and her mother moves in, dressed in very sexually provocative clothes, on a mission to save her daughter’s marriage. She offers uncut graphic details of new coital styles that can fire up her son-in-law’s sex life.

Without warning, a kiss happened between the mother and son-in-law. Then a moment of confession. Finally, the unthinkable followed- an affair that could destroy the remaining strands of a failing marriage. Instead of taking a moral step towards fixing the marriage, it becomes more complicated as the young man insists on having his wife back and his mother-in-law in the other room, providing for his emotional well-being.

Not only is the story shocking, it shatters regular plot as conflict is left unresolved, even with the characters roundly developed through the dialogue. Using voice over and a nude character on stage, the details of oral sex was explored as the unwary audience was left gasping at the sight of a model clad in nude sheer with shimmering details with nothing in her anatomy left to the imagination.

The actors in 3some took a daring step in tapping into their individual sexuality to interpret their roles before a live audience which is a rare display of showmanship in 21st century Nigerian theatre production.

Essentially, 3some unearths the Oedipus complex in its lead character, a reflection on the philosophy of Sigmund Freud. But if anyone wants to judge the play using moral parameters, it will be a total tragedy. The drama offers no moral lesson- conveying to the audience that fulfilling desires is the ultimate good, which is hedonism at its best.