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Kakadu: The musical narrative of Nigeria’s past

By Japhet Alakam

IT is going to be an all round entertainment for lovers of theatre, dance, drama and music, especially lovers of old high life tunes as Playhouse Initiative led by Uche Nwokedi  is set to relive past musical glory with Kakadu-The Musical, a unique dance drama that captures the real essence of old Lagos night life when people from different ethnic groups converged and enjoyed with one another.

According to the organisers ‘“KAKADU the Musical” is Nigeria’s story in a nutshell. Set in the famous Lagos night club of the sixties, named Kakadu- a place where all the musical greats of Nigeria performed at one time, or the other.

‘Kakadu the Musical is a metaphor for Nigeria at ‘’a time when the possibilities were infinite”. It is a story told through both the drama of the period and the “lens” of the music of the time.” The dance drama which is coming at the right time with a lot of lessons, is produced by Uche Nwokedi and directed by Kanayo Omo of the Black Wing productions.

The play is scheduled to premieres on Thursday May 9 2013 at the AGIP Recital Hall, MUSON, Lagos.
The story line is simple, set in the popular Lagos night club of the sixties, called Kakadu located in Alagomeji area of Yaba, which is the hub of the social life where people who love life would meet in the evenings to gossip, drink, eat and generally discuss the Nigeria of their dream.

It was a place many great minds shared their optimism for a greater Nigeria. It is the soul and night life of Lagos and it represents the vision and dream of the country where everyone that comes to Lagos from different places and background go to at some point to be initiated into Lagos, or qualify to become a Lagosian.  It is a place of pilgrimage and it served that purpose until the war broke and Kakadu never recovers.

The well researched play features a cast strength of about 60, made up of professional and upcoming artists. They include Nobert Young, Tina Mba, Haji Bello, Zara Udofia Ejor and other upcoming artists. In Kakadu: The Musical, which can be seen as the first creative work of its kind judging from its quality, the audience will see and experience a skilful conflation of the post-independence Nigeria in the 1960s serenaded by an oppositely historical multi-genre repertoire of music, dance and drama from Nigeria and the Diaspora .

It is a well rounded play and the story line can be described as the ideal artistic outing that the country deserves at this time when the unity of the country is threatened due to activities of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram and other ethnic militias.
It reflects  some of the core

elements the country have lost like love , peace, our innocence, communal life, unity, while urging the present leaders to think about  them.
With great music in the backdrop, the audience is billed to take a journey into the life of multi-ethnic Nigeria which constitute a bulk of the cast just as it is a representation of the core message of the unity in diversity. Kakadu is not just a musical play, it is a musical journey that tells

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