Swedish playwright August Strindberg is set to make what could be his first ever appearance on the Nigerian theatre scene as Abuja based theatre outfit Arojah Royal Theatre is set to stage Dance of Death 1.
The two-part play is about a half-crazed married couple locked together in splenetic isolation. Edgar, a garrison captain (played by Toba Oyewale) and his wife Alice (played by Oluwaseun Odukoya), a thwarted actor, prepare to celebrate 25 years of married torment in the fortress they laughably call home. Half-starved and seething with contempt for everyone on the island, they fall with malign glee on Alice’s cousin, Kurt (played by Ebichi Promise) who arrives to be the new quarantine master. Since it was Kurt who brought them together, he becomes a weapon in their domestic warfare, as well as someone to confide in. But, contaminated by their viral passion, Kurt eventually beats a retreat leaving the pair in a state of exhausted reconciliation.
Courtesy of the Embassy of Sweden, Abuja, and Ericsson Nigeria, the play directed by Jibrin Ahmed will be scheduled to make a tour of tertiary institutions in Abuja: the University of Abuja, Nassarawa State University, Base University and the Nigerian Law School, Bwari, Abuja.
The premiere performance will be staged at the Abuja residence of the Ambassador of Sweden, Plot 41, T.Y. Danjuma street, Asokoro, Abuja on June 28, 2014 by 3.00pm and 5.30pm.
Speaking about the performance, artistic director of Arojah Royal Theatre Om’Oba Jerry Adesewo said: “This is just another of our effort (sic) in employing the theatre as a social force. It is called ‘Cultural Diplomacy Initiative’ and is intended to use theatre as a tool for cultural diplomacy”. He added that under this initiative Arojah Royal Theatre will include at least one or two foreign plays in its annual theatre season of 5-6 plays.
H.E. Mr. Svante Kilander who is a fan of August Strindberg expressed excitement about the opportunity of Nigerians experiencing Swedish theatre: “It will be great to see how Nigerian theatre lovers receive this play. I am particularly excited about this initiative of the Arojah Royal Theatre and African colouration that is to be given to this great play.”