Jingle Bells for Oba Esugbayi Drama

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A scene from Oba Esugbayi

Yinka Olatunbosun reports that the Christmas period is loaded with theatrical performances especially one that tells the Lagos story, Oba Esugbayi

The holiday bells are jingling as they signal Lagos’s immersion in a series of theatre productions this season. One of them is the much-anticipated stage drama titled, “Oba Esugbayi” – set to be a special treat starring Chico Chukwuma Aligwekwe, a popular on-air-personality at Classic FM.

Aligwekwe was born in London and perhaps, unknown to many, he studied Theatre Arts at the University of Port Harcourt before returning to the United Kingdom to study several courses in film, media and television.

Upon his return to Nigeria in 2003, he had written short stories, plays songs and scripts for some movie producers. He was featured in a DSTV series, Battleground amongst others.

He replaces Femi Branch in the lead role for this show which begins on December 23 and runs till December 25, at the Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre.

Following the success of the Isale Eko play, this sequel show tells another Lagos story, in a very captivating musical, using top-notch technical details.

For the producer, Joseph Edgar, the lead role is demanding and requires an actor who can sing in order to project the core message of the drama.

“For us, our vision is to tell our story through performance. We are happy that there seems to be a reawakening in not only our history, but also in our culture as a people.

“The prayer is for a continued and sustainable interest so that we can better redefine ourselves as a people,’’ he said.

Edgar also revealed that Oba Esugbayi will fuse experienced and promising actors who demonstrate exceptional talents. One of them is a UK based actress, Ayobami, the daughter of Yemi Sodimu, while another is Chantal Edgar.
Also, he declared that the show is suitable for family and the cast is very inclusive with the youngest being 10 years old. Directed by William Benson, the performance is arranged as two matinees and one evening show on a daily basis.

“It’s a total experience with deep historical and pre-modern narrative spiced with wonderfully sequenced song and dance routines carefully designed to give the audience an experience of a lifetime,’’ he said while dropping hints that the show may be repeated in Abuja, Lagos and Accra.

The show is sponsored by MTN Foundation with support from the Lagos State government.