To date we have given THE SECRET LIVES OF BABA SEGI'S WIVES two public sharings; its World Premiere in Nigeria four years ago, and recently in 2015, a Workshop Production in a small studio space at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. The Elufowoju jr Ensemble were desperate to give UK artistes and audience its experience and thanks to an earlier Kickstarter Appeal together with a small grant from Arts Council England we assembled an all British-Nigerian troupe of actors/creatives to research and develop Rotimi Babatunde's adaptation of Lola Shoneyin's novel.
Having now prepared and accomplished the structure and form for a fully fledged production, the ARCOLA THEATRE in London has provided the company with a seven week slot in its 2018 theatre calendar to stage the play in its complete glory. ,
DRAMATIC PLOT - The play originally written as a novel by Lola Shoneyin and now adapted for the stage by Caine Award winning playwright Rotimi Babatunde is full of gloriously unsavoury characters caught in a terrible web of deceit.
There are 'four wives, one husband and a devastating secret'. At the heart of this Nigerian family is Baba Segi - an overweight, flatulent, chauvinist. He's thoroughly unlikable and if at least two of his wives, the first, Iya Segi and the third Iya Femi, weren't so gloriously unlikable and scheming, you would have no sympathy for Baba Segi at all.
The family dynamics are as follows; with his first wife, Baba Segi has two children. Their mother, Iya Segi wants nothing more than to continue to rule the household and will stop at nothing to throw her not inconsiderable weight around to show who's boss. The second wife, Iya Tope has given Baba Segi three children. She's timid and it's not hard for Iya Segi to get her 'trained' to toe the line. Wife number three, Iya Femi, who produced another two children for Baba Segi, is a different matter altogether. With a taste for the finer things in life, and a strong belief that she has earned them, she's a force to be reckoned with, particularly when she teams up with Iya Segi to boss Iya Tope around. When Wife number four, Bolanle, a university graduate, is introduced into the mix, unbeknownst to her, she inadvertently threatens to bring the whole house of cards tumbling down on Baba Segi's head.
AUDIENCES WILL SEE a highly enjoyable popular drama full of indigenous (traditional & contemporary) lyrics, music (originally composed by Oyebade Dosunmu) and dance routines (originally choreographed by Uche Onah). The stylised (in the round) presentation features the bulk of the narrative and physical infrastructure of the play i.e. props and furniture imitated by the ensemble. Set and costumes will be minimal, There are 10 Yoruba (contemporary and traditional) songs and a repertoire (6 or more) highly kinetic Yoruba and Contemporary choreographed dance routines.
Risks and challenges
The perennial risk of an all-inclusive British audience failing to embrace the spirit of our endeavours. The earlier Work-in-progress has since gone cold and it is the hope that the fresh rehearsals leading up to the performances next year will reinstate the vigor and huge promise this ambitious project aim to deliver.
Marketing & Publicity for such a huge show demands dedication and long term preparation. Experience has taught us to plan our marketing strategies in such a way which alleviates the anxiety of scale, form and production values - therefore guaranteeing our wonderful patrons receiving value for their money.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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