Band aid… Reuniting with friends, achieving dreams

A scene from the play

A scene from the play

Those interested in poetry and European literature will ever remember William Shakespeare, who in expressing his love through music said: “If music be the food of love, play on; give me excess of it!” This truism was recently brought to theatre lovers at Terra Kulture in a musical play titled, Band Aid.

A collaboration of Majmua Theatre, Live Theatre on Sunday and Terra Kulture, the play, written by Abiodun Kassim, tells the story of three struggling, talented young men, Femi (Patrick Diabuah), Flex (Tosin Gregory) and Tony (Femi Leye) who apart from being bond by their love for music, plan to get Nigeria’s first Billboard Top 100 hit.

As determined as each person is in the group, they all have their different character traits, which, instead of bringing them close to their set goal, stands them apart and make them to work at cross purposes. Flex is an extrovert and would go for anything in skirt; Tony is the opposite, while Femi is the calm type who coordinates things.

For his maturity at handling issues, Femi decides what happens in the group. This is the case until Ivie (Goodness Emmanuel), also a music enthusiast, meets and falls in love with the group. On meeting Ivie, the boys believe they will be better organised, but little did they know she is just out of a failed love relationship and wants to use the threesome for a new beginning, another chance at kick-starting her life, forget her frustrating past and chart a new path. She becomes part of the band, and joins them at rehearsals and sometimes being the lead singer.

On seeing the serious of the boys in attaining their goal, Shekere (Toyin Osinaike) their mentor promises them a huge concert, which would not only publicise the group, but also boost their finances. Just as the boys work and look forward to seeing the day come to pass, armed robbers attack and collect all of Shekere’s money. This devastates the boys and almost makes them give singing as a group.

However, Ivie who is just recovering from the bitter experience she has had with her boyfriend, falls in love with Femi. The lovebird raise the morale of the remaining band members, gives the group a lifeline and eventually changes the name of the group from ‘Hustlers’ to ‘Band Aid.’

With Kenneth Uphopho as director and Tony Akhigbe as music director, the musical play ends abruptly, leaving the audience to doubt the possibility of the group reaching their dreamland.

In highlighting multiply themes, which include determination, love, group organisation and others, the cast masterfully interprets the storyline, making the audience to feel and associate with it, which to a large extent, aides its comprehension. The cast lives upto its billing, as its body language and delivery show its deep understanding of the play.

Ivie, who represents the average strong and powerful Nigerian woman who, in spite of her situation, never gives up. It showcases high level of proficiency in her performance. Her mien, dress sense and carriage were just too suitable of her role. The character flow of all the cast appeared natural, while dialogue and acting were no less realistic. The audience could understand, hear, and situate the story to what is currently happening in our society.

The house lighting crew also did a great job, as the series of blackouts and fade in gave room for smooth scene changes, which helped in the storytelling. The use of pyrotechnic lighting in certain scenes created the feeling of excitement and further brought out the real life situation. There was also good use of floodlight in the various scenes.

Despite the good directing skill, however, the stage, to a reasonable extent, did not reflect the home of any upcoming acts, as there were no pictures of any artistes on the walls and the furniture was scanty, leaving the impression that the space is more of stage than a living room.

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