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Nigerian shines at International Theatre Festival in Sudan

IT was a moment of glory for Nigeria as young Mr. Charles Okeoghene Etubiebi put up a superlative stage performance at an international theatre festival that recently took place in Sudan, East Africa, to emerge the overall best male actor of the festival.

The festival known as the Al Bugaa International Theatre Festival which was organized in collaboration with the International Theatre Institute (ITI), Paris, took place from March27 (World Theatre Day) to April 4 in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital.

At the event, drama  troupes from over seven countries including the USA and Egypt participated at the festival. The three-man Nigerian troupe, privately sponsored, known as Theatre Emissary and led by Mr. Taiwo Afolabi presented a play titled, “Two Characters Undefined”.
The Nigerian Ambassador to Sudan, Haliru Sodongi Shuaibi was glad to receive the Nigeria troupe on their arrival in the Sudanese capital.

Journey of life

“Two Characters Undefined” is an absurdist play written by Paul Ugbede, a young Nigerian playwrite. The play tells the story of  two characters, Ratty (played by Charles Okeoghene Etubiebi) and Phil  (played by Samson OKlobia). They are supposed to be on a journey of life but somehow, they both cannot go through the door standing between   them and their future. Not that they cannot actually go through the door, but they are being distracted . Ratty is busy trying to catch his shadow while Phil is busy fiddling with plenty of empty cans he is carrying.

According to Afolabi, who is the artistic director of Theatre Emissary, the play reflects the thematic concept that is full of life and humor just as it captures with imageries, the reality of our existence.

A Nigerian, Tayo Hamzat, working with an international organization in Khartoum who was at the Al Bugaa festival, commenting on the internet, described the Nigerian presentation as an epic play that should be performed around the world. “These young Nigerian actors are a bundle of talents that people all around the world should see,” he said.

The performance of Theatre Emissary was so captivating that in spite of the language barrier, the largely Arabic audience that watched the play was so thrilled and overwhelmed with excitement.

The Al Bugaa award winner, Charles Etubiebi, who hails from Delta State is a theatre arts graduate of the University of Jos, Plateau State.


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