Executive Producer, Emotan, Joseph Edgar with Hon Osaze Ero, Edo State Commissioner for Arts and Culture

Yinka Olatunbosun

As a way of returning to its tradition of historical drama productions, the Duke of Somolu productions is set to stage another historical drama, Emotan in October during the 2019 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) in Benin, Edo State. Emotan is based on the story of a strong market woman-turned deity in the ancient Benin Kingdom, who helped Oba Ewuare to reclaim his throne as the Oba of Benin.

The Executive Producer, Joseph Edgar revealed that the play had been selected for its cultural significance and will enjoy the support of the state government.

“We have secured the interest of the Edo State Ministry of Arts and Culture with the Hon. Commissioner Mr. Osaze Ero assuring us of his full support of the palace and the Oba,” he disclosed. “At our meetings, he talked about the prominence of Emotan as a highly respected pseudo deity which the present Oba is taking very seriously. He talked about the palace going through the script to ensure its integrity and securing the palace support once our script passes the test.”

Recently, the Duke of Somolu Productions staged the psycho-erotic drama, 3some at the MUSON Centre, Onikan which turned out to be a box-office hit. It would have been so convenient to keep to that formula for commercial returns but Edgar thought differently.

“3some was a powerful digression,” he said. “It was our bid to force a look on by society at our relationships and the devastating effect of social media on it. We are happy it created the right kind of noise and attracted society. Emotan, like you have rightly mentioned, has brought you back to our roots. Our vision has always been to tell our stories through audacious performances. Emotan will tell the story in some of the most magnificent song and dance sequences using some of the most gifted thespians. It has taken us almost a year to complete the casting.”

Meanwhile, the story of Emotan will be rewritten with a unique twist without losing that authentic ethnic magic embedded in the real-life story.

“Our decision is to subject ourselves to the overall supervision of the palace and custodians of the story. Emotan is about loyalty, service to the system and patriotism. It is about a highly-revered figure whose efforts at strengthening the monarchy continues to be respected till today. It is a touching emotional story about a figure who although did not have her own kids lived children to the point of setting up the very first kindergarten in Benin City and from there played a very influential role in restoring monarchy.

Emotan, written and directed by William Benson is a one-hour 20mins play with a 70-man cast and crew. It will return to Lagos in December for eight runs.
Pix: Executive Producer, Emotan, Joseph Edgar with Hon Osaze Ero, Edo State Commissioner for