The grand plan to celebrate Soyinka at 80, by the Thespian Family

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Thespian Family Theatre and Productions Is  celebrating one of Africa’s literary icons, Professor Wole Soyinka, as he turns 80 in July.

The production company, after staging  Five Maids of Fadaka, one of their signature plays at MUSON Centre, Lagos, is  bringing two of Soyinka’s most popular plays,  The Lion and the Jewel, and  The Trials of Brother Jero, to the theatre community and general public.

“Thespian Family Theatre and Productions has carefully chosen both plays for performance to once again serve as a catalyst for the creation of social capital and the attainment of important community goals through the intrinsic messages of the plays,” its  founder, Mrs. Ayodele Jaiyesimi, said.

“We have remained front liners in the doggedness that it is still possible to find essential spaces within which the performance arts persist as a critical force as a balanced agent for social change and development”.

The Lion and the Jewel, being directed by Toyin Oshinaike, focuses on several conflicts that Soyinka present but does not attempt to resolve. It features star actors like, Soibifaa Dokubo, popularly known as ‘Waka’, Bharia McNwizu of the AMBO Fame, Patrick Diabuah and the world renowned Thespian Family Theatre Troupe.

The director, Toyin Oshinake, who has played Baroka in a couple of performances of the play, says it is an interesting task for him directing the play for the first time and also challenging to throw something unique, not a show as he had seen or performed.

The lead characters Lakunle and Baroka, embody the contrary urges toward modernity and tradition. They personify the two sides of the major social and political issue in Africa during the last half of the twentieth century.

The Trials of Brother Jero  is a light satiric comedy that takes aim at religious hypocrisy in the form of a charlatan, or fraud, named Brother Jero, who preaches to his followers at the Bar Beach area of Lagos, Nigeria.

The shows are billed for July 19, 26; August 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30.

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