Lagos Fringe 2019 Parades Top-Notch Talents

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A performance at the Lagos Fringe

Yinka Olatunbosun

The expectation for the 2019 edition of the Lagos Fringe is fever-pitch. Originating from the Lagos Theatre Festival(LTF) the Lagos Fringe shares the same unconventional performance style in giving a platform for budding creatives to show the world their potentials. This edition which kicks off with an opening ceremony at the Alliance Francaise, Ikoyiholds from November 19 to 24.

At an animated session with the Festival Producer, Brenda Fashugba, details of the multiple venue festival were revealed.

“We need people to feed the eco-system of the creative industry. Lagos Fringe is a multi-disciplinary platform set up to improve the life of artists by showcasing their works and developing them. It cuts across the genres of Art such as visual art, theatre, film, music and dance,” Fashugba said. She added that the Fringe was grown alongside the LTF from just 6 to 105 productions.

The Fringe is a worldwide phenomenon designed to curate small scale performances or art projects to give new talents a voice.

“Nobody brings a big show to the Fringe Festival. There are people who come from outside Nigeria just to see the Fringe and see what talents they can take to perform in their countries. We have started an exchange programme with Brighton Fringe. We have also taken three shows to VrystaatFringe in South Africa and they will be part of the main show next year,” she said.

The Festival Director, Kenneth Uphopho added that the Fringe has a well-developed programme for children to make it family-friendly. Asides Alliance Francaise, the Freedom Park and the British Council will be abuzz with performances.

“Freedom Park is dynamic. You can develop your material around it,” the producer continued.

One of the exciting shows to see is Esther’s Revenge, based on a real life story of a woman who killed her white lover and married someone else.

“The play has gone to South Africa and is returning to Nigeria. It is very unconventional and interactive and the audience will judge,” Fashugba said.

The Lagos Fringe provides an open-access to artists for performances, collaborations, workshops and skill development.

Festival Director, Kenneth Uphopho, who is also a founding member of Guild of Theatre Directors said: “Since last year, participants and show producers at Lagos Fringe Festival have consistently brought together a wide variety of eye-catching plays and bold new works that remove barriers between actor and audience, creatively using space and intimate storytelling to intensify the audience’s experience. The events are always presented in repurposed spaces and not necessarily focused on the conventional.”

The six-day festival will bring together participants from Senegal, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, Brazil, Ghana, Portugal, and Nigeria. Lagos Fringe is an initiative of Uphopho and Fashugba-led Performing Arts Workshop & Studios (PAWSTUDIOS).