The British Council today announced details of the 2nd edition of the Lagos Theatre Festival, the largest ever outdoor theatre festival to take place in the city which will run from 28 February to 2 March 2014. Part theatrical experience, part real life and part city journey, the festival will transform historic Freedom Park, a public space born out of the ruins of a colonial prison and reconstructed to preserve the history and cultural heritage of Nigeria. Look Left Look Right, a Multi award winning interactive theatre company based in the UK will premiere their new production Make We Waka a collaboration with Nigerian performers that invites the audience to take part in an intimate promenade performance, exploring the hidden corners of the space. Using an audio guide, participants will delve into the world of the Park and the stories it has to tell.
In addition three other new productions will be staged, the result an open call launched in September 2013 to invite people across Nigeria to submit their stories about Lagos, the most populous city in Africa. Three stories were selected and have been turned into scripts by writer and filmmaker Jude Idada (who won an AMAA Award for Best Screenplay in 2010), playwright and essayist Lekan Balogun and internationally acclaimed Nigerian writer and director Wole Oguntokun. The new works will examine themes including Lagos nightlife, the national lottery and the healthcare system and will take place throughout Freedom Park.
The British Council has teamed these writers with Lagos based theatre groups Renegade Theatre, Imagine Nigeria and Oxzygen Koncepts to work on the festival which is being managed by a team of theatre producers including Kenneth Uphopho, Daniel Effiong, Brenda Uphopho, Ifeanyi Dibia and Bukky Sanu.
Connie Price, Director British Council Nigeria said, “It is tremendously exciting for the British Council to be working again on Lagos Theatre Festival. Our hope is that the new collaborations taking place will captivate audiences and stimulate future work as the British Council builds towards 2015, a year that will see a major season of cultural and educational programmes take place across Nigeria.”
Kenneth Uphopho, Creative Director of Lagos Theatre Festival, visited the UK to attend the British Council Showcase at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2013 to select a UK company to collaborate with. The British Council’s biennial Edinburgh Showcase is the single biggest opportunity for UK theatre companies to introduce their work to international promoters. The programme comprises new work that represents the very best of contemporary theatre and dance, reflecting the breadth and diversity of British performing arts.
The first edition of Lagos Theatre Festival took place in February 2013 at Eko Hotel & Suites. It brought together thousands of curious people who witnessed plays performed inside an underground car park, a garden, a restaurant and a hotel bedroom. Work showcased included productions by three local theatre companies as well as British-Nigerian playwright, poet and actor Inua Ellams who performed his award winning play The 14th Tale.
Notes to Editors:
The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Our 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.
Look Left Look Right is an award winning site-specific theatre company making vivid, dynamic, and interactive theatre inspired by and about the contemporary world. Since being founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Mimi Poskitt, the company has received funding from Arts Council England, successfully toured their work nationally and won three Fringe First Awards (The Caravan, 2008 and You Once Said Yes, 2011, 2013) and a Total Theatre Award for Innovation and Experimentation (You Once Said Yes, 2011). The company has co-produced with The Royal Court, The Roundhouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse, The BAC, Plymouth Theatre Royal and Southampton Nuffield. Their objective is to create intimate, poignant, truthful and relevant storytelling that gives the audience a whole new experience.