The staging in Lagos of SARO The Musical, Nigeria's first Broadway-type musical, could mark a revival for the country's ailing live theatre. With a large cast, a good story-line about four young migrants in Lagos, plenty of catchy music and dance, it played to packed audiences when it premiered at the Orient Hotel, Victoria Island for three days at the end of October.
In Nigeria theatre has been losing out to the success of Nollywood and low-cost video production, in part because of the difficulty of securing suitable and cost-effective venues. Plays often take place in hotel gardens, underground car parks or other improvised settings to keep the costs as low as possible.
SARO, which is produced by Bolanle Austen-Peters of Terra Kulture, could mark a new trend for theatre lovers.
But after its initial success SARO – with its 100-member cast funded mainly by Austen-Peters herself and boosted by plenty of excellent pr – needs a new venue to continue its three-day (25-27 Oct) success.