Basic six pupils of Greenwood House School, Lagos kept the ovation loud with their play titled ‘Esther and the King’, held weekend at the MUSON Centre, Lagos, as part of activities to mark the school’s graduation ceremony.
The play, a story about the biblical Queen Esther, was directed and supervised by Mrs. Yetunde Ade, who said it was aimed at bringing history to life in a meaningful and realistic way that would inspire the children.
Speaking on the idea behind the stage act, the Principal, Mr. Ronald Cilliers said: “It is a send-forth for our primary six pupils. It is the grand finale of their stay in the school and they were the only ones that participated actively in the production. The whole idea of the play is to lay emphasis on the fact that it doesn’t matter what your background is, where you are coming from, or what your heritage is, you will be able to rise and achieve greatness wherever you are or have been. You have the freedom to express what is within you, what you are made of without minding where you come from.”
He said it was also one of the ways through which the school grooms the pupils to be confident in themselves, especially when they are able to overcome stage fright at a tender age.
“We are very fortunate in our school. We regularly showcase our children right from nursery school to year six. We nurse them to a point where they are able to do production, play and presentation in the presence of their parents every week.
“As a matter of fact, we use our Wednesdays to showcase the children and that helps to boost their confidence and overcome stage fright whenever they have to perform before an overwhelming crowd like we had here today. It also gives them self-worth, value and allows them to express themselves wherever they find themselves.”
Speaking with THISDAY, the co-founder of the school, Ekua Akinsanya described the play as a story of bravery, sacrifice, faith and hope.
“The play brings out the best in the children, their creativity and makes them confident as they are taking up roles that they have never taken up before. All these were intentional to drive a point to the society at large, because we are at a time and age where everybody seems to be more involved in themselves alone.
By taking a cue from the heroine of the play who is willing to sacrifice herself for the land, she said the children would grow in the society with a sacrificial mind set.
Toyosi Daniel, who featured in the play as Esther, while considering the rigorous audition she had to go through before being entrusted with the role among four potential, expressed delight about her performance, saying that playing the role taught her a sense of sacrifice, love and tolerance among her peers.
Durotimi Morakinyo, who acted as King Ahasuerus, described playing the role as a dream come true.
“For me it is a dream come true to play the role of a king in this stage performance. I feel happy because when I was younger, I had always had the mind of being the king of the house. So it is kind of an ideal role for me and a manifestation of my thoughts.”
While Ekene Okoye, who played the role of Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, described the character as very caring, wise, brave, and concerned about his niece and protective of her.
He also expressed delight about taking on the role of Mordecai, as through his wise counsel to Esther, a generation yet unborn was saved.