National Theatre in Lagos to be renovated

British Council to run major theatrical workshop at Lagos Theatre.

Nigeria's National Theatre in Lagos is to be renovated by the federal government and Lagos State, according to the nation's culture minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

The minister, who described the theatre as a “valuable national asset”, said the works would include the renovation of the main auditorium, two cinema halls, the exhibition lobby and the banquet hall.

In recent years the theatre, which is Nigeria's primary centre for the performing arts, has fallen into disrepair and been underused. The upgrading works were especially significant, according to the minister, due to the upcoming 50th anniversary of the founding of Lagos State in May.

Between 28 February and 5 March, the Nigerian branch of the British Council will present the Lagos Theatre Festival. Founded in 2013, the festival is designed to present performing arts from Nigeria and the UK each February. This year it will hold a workshop for festival managers, in collaboration with the culture ministry, and over the course of six days more than 500 artists will stage over 100 performances.

Located in Surulere, the same mainland district as the Lagos National Stadium, the theatre was built in 1976 during the military regime of Olusegun Obasanjo and its exterior is designed in the shape of a military hat.

The theatre has a 5,000-seater auditorium with collapsible stage and two capacity cinema halls, in addition to housing the National Gallery of Modern Nigerian Art.

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