Just Theatre makes a debut on Lagos Mainland

A scene from the play

A scene from the play

Lagosians on the mainland were treated to a night of performance when ‘Just Theatre,’ a theatre company in Lagos, satged a new play titled Two Characters Undefined, at Firewood Grills and Bar, Sabo Yaba on Sunday, October 16, 2016.

Written by Paul Ugbede and directed by Ifeanyi Eziukwu, Two Characters Undefined, a two-man play that mirrors the relationship between leaders and followers in Nigeria.

“I chose the play because of its deep meaning and symbols,” said Ifeanyi Eziukwu, who is also the Artistic Director of Just Theatre. “I think plays like these should be shown to the people always to enable them understand and redefine their relationship with their leaders.”

In Two Characters Undefined, Ufedo (played by debutant Uju Okoli) is tired of the exploitative relationship she is having with Ikani (John Chukwudi) and she wants to bring the four years’ relationship to an end. But ending a relationship where you are exploited is not always easy. As the play progresses on, the audience is exposed to the height of multi-layered deceit and psychological games people play in everyday life to get what they want.

The playwright, Ugbede, said he was pleased by the performance and the interpretation of the play, adding, “A two-man play is always difficult to perform and direct,” said the winner of Beeta Playwrights Contest 2016. “It can be tiring seeing only two people on stage for an hour with no intermission so for the actors to achieve the level of energy to get the audience glued to their seats is commendable”.

Other side attractions during the night were various performances by the winner of Cool FM slow move beat competition, Donald Kez, Sax Oluwa, Mc Moskito, Mc Judicious, Ayowale, David Eden and Adubi Jesu.

Director, Eziukwu, who had also directed plays like Femi Osofisan’s Women of Owu, Tyler Perry’s Marriage Counselor and Tyrone Terrence’s Private Lies, promised that there would be more performance nights like this on the mainland.

According to him, “My vision is to initiate a culture of total theatre practice on the mainland. People must not always go to the island to see a piece of theatre. With support of sponsors like Firewood Grills and Bar, Comedy cruise on UNILAG FM, This Morning and Box Office on radio one FM, St. Stephens Catholic Church and Dance Den (DJ 2reel). We shall continue to sustain this project until theatre on the mainland becomes a very rewarding industry”.

Eziukwu said one way to sustain theatre on the mainland is his plan to organise the first Mainland Theatre Festival sometime next year. It is his hope that the festival would attract international attention. He plans to draw on his experience and the experience of other theatre practitioners on the mainland to make the festival a success.

Mainland Theatre Series continues every month at Firewood Grills and Bars. It is Eziukwu’s hope that with efforts like Just Theatre, theatre culture will gradually return to take its pride of place in Nigeria as a whole.

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