In keeping with the cardinal points of programmes on television, which are to educate, inform and entertain its viewers, these fundamentals are what Theatrips brings to the viewers every week. The programme presents a panoramic view of the hugely compelling world of the theatre with the accompanying spectacles of music, drums, drama and dance standing as guards in every edition.
The show begins, in one of the monitored editions, with the introduction of the programme by the presenter, Tolu Adelekan who also talks about what exciting meals of entertainment and information already prepared for the viewing audience by the directors and producers of the programme.
Ambassador Segun Olusola, the well known founder of the African Refugee Foundation and veteran theatre practitioner of many years standing, coupled with his role as creator of the hugely popular and long-running play on television, The Village Headmaster, a must-watch in the early through mid 80s was special guest. In a manner that aptly underlines his status as a total man of the arts, with peculiarity to the grounds of theatre, Olusola talked about the fascinating experience of being involved in the theatre. Positing that one does not have to be a practitioner to understand and appreciate the essence of the theatre movements, Olusola declared that it was much better in those days as there was no motion picture or anything called Nollywood as it is now and the people in the movement were more vibrant and evidently more committed to the cause even though it paid considerably less than it is these days.
He thereafter paid glowing tributes to the real initiators and inspirational figures of the theatre practice in the country. The likes of Hubert Ogunde and Duro Ladipo. After this, he advised the youths of today and Nigerians in general to be more creative and embrace the things that are artistic considering how such equip people and improve them in human endearvours.
The programme proceeded on a short break after the fantastic comments of the elder statesman.
Next was the dramatic presentation of the day which is an exciting and integral part of each edition of the programme and for this, the play must have been put on stage in a theatrical form. For the edition, a stage play entitled Ewatomi was the play in focus. The play is based on a young but extremely pretty young lady of the name adopted as the title of the play, Ewatomi.
Ewatomi is described as a paragon of beauty, so enchanting to the extent that many men in the community including high ranking chiefs are locked in the struggle to end up married to her. The matter, already complicated by too many men, comes to a head when the showers of her beauty also drench the king, acted by Funso Adeolu who also joins the fray. At that point, Ewatomi sees her beauty as nothing other than a curse because as she says, everywhere she goes, every man wants to marry her as the play ends in tragedy where the king rapes Ewatomi right in the palace when she refuse to accede to his request that she marries him and become a queen.
Afterwards, the programme leads to the studio where it all ends.
In another edition, the programme opened on Tolu and quickly moved over to a stage where two dance performers choreograph ‘Awe,’ a track in Bukola Elemide, also known as Asa’s first album in a very pragmatic manner. Endorsing breaks from Sandra Boulous and Paul Obazele came in next before attention shifted to the featured guest of the day who was no less a personality than Segun Lawal, president and national coordinator of Spirit of David which recently powered Celebrity Takes 2.
In his words as guest, Segun Lawal focused on his familiar terrain of dance as he revealed that it was God that called him to propagate his gospel through dance. He also informed that he started dancing at the age of 10 but turned professional many years later. He also described himself as a fourth dimension dancer who is doing all he can to improve dancing and make more people embrace it. He said he will soon write a book on dancing techniques as he said the world is catching up more with the vision with more movies now dedicated to dance and professional dancers becoming more respected and the public getting better overall exposure on dance. As regards his vision, he said he would like dance to assume a socio-economic weapon like theatre is as he revealed that he also like poetry and prose. his love for pounded yam and oha soup as his favourite meal, Liverpool FC as the club he has supported for the past 26 years were also not hidden as he also advised people to focus on God, the creator who makes no mistakes.
The play for focus for the day was Exodus, written by the creative Segun Adefila. The play exposes the dangers and harsh realities of running out of the country in search of the proverbial greener pastures while it is, in actual fact and as far as the situation in our country is concerned, is an escape from the vagaries of our short comings as a nation to deliver the amenities that inspire living.
The highpoint of the play is when two groups are placed side by side with one group, the rich singing that what the Lord has done in their lives shall be permanent while the other group of the rich singing that the God should do something new in their lives.
That way, the exciting programme came to an end but while not ruling out the fact that it is not perfect; every viewer would have been entertained, informed and educated on certain aspects of life generally.
Theatrips is a fine programme on TV Continental, a station that must be commended for its airing, support and backing of creative initiatives in the Nigerian airspace. Theatrips is a good programme that is worthy to occupy the prime berth of 9’o clock on Friday which is basically for the entertainment of viewers and listeners by radio and television stations.
Stories by Adedayo Odulaja , Reporter, Lagos