2020 was an especially tough year for theatre lovers and thespians. The lockdown and social distancing measures introduced to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus made it impossible to gather and enjoy theatre until the tail end of the year. 2021 has, however, been a better year for the industry with different creatives devising ways to keep the industry running without compromising on health and safety standards.
We have curated a list of the top five theatre shows in 2021:
1. Death and the King’s Horseman: Bolanle Austen-Peters and the MTN Foundation formed yet another power partnership that saw the live adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s celebrated book of the same title. The show was held at Terra Kulture and featured several respected theatre artists including Mawuyon Ogun, Moshood Fattah and Olarotimi Fakunle who gave life to the strong characters that make the satire that has been known and loved for decades.
The show received glowing reviews and was lauded by attendees.
2. Flower the Musical: Flower the Musical follows the story of six different women who are united by their struggles as women in Nigeria. It highlights the failures of and injustices in the Nigerian system towards women and the struggle for emancipation.
The show, which was supported by the MTN Foundation featured talented screen favourites including Waje, Ufuoma McDermott and Elvina Ibru.
The audience at Glover Memorial Hall will not forget their experience in a hurry..
3. Tony Wants to Marry: There were two drive-in theatre performances of Tony Wants to Marry in Lagos and Abuja, making it the first ever drive-in theatre performance in Lagos. The show, which was also sponsored by the MTN Foundation, featured Osas Igodoro, CeeC, Norbert Young and Francis Duru.
The audience praised the production for its humour, quality and the sublime delivery of the cast.
4. OMG the Musical: Several variations of the OMG the Musical production have been performed over the years. The play also has strong feminist themes.
The MTN Foundation and Declassical Arts partnered yet again to bring a reenactment of the Musical to stage at Shell Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. This time, the cast and crew truly outdid themselves.
5. Ibiom: When Doves Fly: The MTN Foundation with the Duke of Shomolu Productions to bring the historical play, Ibiom: When Doves Fly to the Ibom Hall in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on April 30 and May 1, 2021.
The production was lauded by the government of Akwa Ibom State for promoting cultural tourism and youth empowerment as the project informed the execution of the project in two phases – a free one-week training for 500 youths in Akwa Ibom, facilitated by the former Director-General of the National Theatre/National Troupe of Nigeria, Professor Ahmed Yerima and a two day-performance of the play.