The National Troupe of Nigeria resumed its play reading session after a five-year hiatus with a reading of Makinde Adeniran’s “Beggars’ Opera,” which highlights the disunity among the oppressed who continue to suffer the tyranny of a few. The 32nd Play Reading Session took place on April 13 at the National Theatre Marquee in Lagos and was well-attended by a quality audience. The event featured open readings and dramatizations of excerpts from the play, with guests including playwrights, professors, and industry professionals.
During the event, the National Troupe’s Artistic Director/CEO, Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed, explained that the session’s purpose was to celebrate playwrights and promote playwriting and development through critical analysis. He also stated that the Troupe was committed to encouraging the development of playwriting and that sometimes, a play that has been corrected after reading is produced by the Troupe with a sponsor’s help.
Characters from the 77-page play were assigned to guests, who read the first two parts, followed by another excerpt performed by the National Troupe and a discussion. Adeniran, the Secretary General of NANTAP, gave a background to the play, which features several Yoruba songs, and explained that it was based on his exile experience with Wole Soyinka and others.
Professor Azeez commented on the playwright’s choice of background and setting, stating that no creative should be afraid to tell their stories. The National Troupe of Nigeria’s Play Reading Session began in 2001 to encourage creativity and excellence in the performing arts and had not happened in five years before this last edition.