Fractured hits the stage at MUSON, stars Gideon Okeke, Ropo Ewenla, Tunji Sotimiri, others
Between Saturday and Sunday, January 14 and 15, 2017, Fractured will hit the stage at MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. Nollywood star, Gideon Okeke, is among the array of actors to perform: Tunji Sotimiri, Patrick Diabuah, Ropo Ewenla, Bola Haastrup, Beverly Naya, Funmi Eko-Ezeh and many others. Fractured is an adaptation of the American playwright, Arthur Millers’ A View from the Bridge. The duo of Nike Taylor and Kenneth Uphopho is producer and director respectively while Ikhane Akhigbe is the executive producer.
According to Akhigbe, Fractured ideals with the issues of immigration and remaining true to cultural values as they impact on the life of a family and how each member navigates the ensuing turbulence.
“It’s about a family that has been transplanted to another country and how it struggles to survive,” he said. “How do you go on staying true to your natural self? So, it’s about cultural values and identity; it’s about our society and how open we are to others. On the face of it, our economy is actually fractured at the moment. Our cultural values are facing threats, but we are still who we are.”
The producer, Taylor, informed that her production company, Aborigine Theatre, first staged Fractured in 2010 and is restaging it again because of its thematic relevance to current realities.
“It’s a family drama that mirrors the way the world is right now,” she said. “It’s about a normal family and all the things it faces. It’s funny and intriguing.”
The director, Uphopho, said apart from the larger immigration and identify issues the play treats, there is also the interplay of love and its regular headaches, “a possessive father-figure and a daughter, who is in love, the question of values in marriage, the issue of cheating. There is the question of the centrality of the role of women in society.”
Okeke situated the performance in the context of Brexit and the emergence of America’s president-elect, Donald Trump, and immigration concerns and how humanity is responding to the politics of ultra-nationalism.
“Humanity is waiting to fit into the story,” he said. “It shows how humanity evolves; we are dealing with the same issues but in different contexts.”
Sotimiri also noted that the issues Fractured raises regularly confront ordinary folks in spite of the time lapse from when Miller wrote A View from the Bridge and its modern manifestations in Fractured, adding, “A good producer must have some passion about what keeps recurring, issues that are global and want to tap into things happening. It’s something people will learn from.”
Diabuah noted that “Fractured is the story of our lives, of disappointments and how we handle them.”
For Ewenla, there “is a delicious dialogue going on in the world and theatre cannot be left behind. It shows that producers are in touch with their environments and the issues being discussed. Miller’s play has moved beyond being an American play and is receiving and generating global attention and discourse.”
Ewenla also explored the tragic dimension of Miller’s dramaturgy to include extending the frontiers of tragedy from the households of nobles and royalty to that of the next-door neighbour, who, for instance, rapes his under-aged daughter and murders her, tragic occurrences that have become all too frequent of recent.
“Miller’s redefines how tragedy can be viewed,” Ewenla said. “He creates a subject of tragedy out of one of us, not just about kings and noble men and women. There’s a psychological depth to the play that plays in the head for a long time after seeing Fractured. It’s a play for the moment.”