By George Emine
As preparations for the 2016 edition of the annual Lagos Theatre Festival gets underway, the British Council is set to contribute towards the success of the event alongside commercial banking giant, First Bank Plc.
The event, the largest outdoor theatre event in Nigeria, is scheduled to take place between February 23–28.
The Lagos Theatre Festival 2016 will take place at several venues on Lagos Island and the mainland with the curated programme running alongside a fringe strand of affiliated performances allowing a greater than ever number of artists and audiences to take part.
The festival, which first launched in 2012, was borne out of the need to create professional exchange opportunities between the Nigerian and British theatre makers, stimulating innovation in theatre practice and changing the face of performing arts in Nigeria.
“First Bank of Nigeria is extremely passionate about the arts and is partnering with the British Council through its strategic initiative, First@arts to bring you Lagos Theatre Festival 2016,” the bank stressed in a statement made available to journalists.
In a similar vein, in preparation for the UK/Nigeria 2016-16 season of arts, the British Council in its desire to engage new voices in theatre, called for the submission of scripts from emerging playwrights.
Themes of the scripts were drawn from experiences of young people living in Lagos today.
A record number of 64 applications were received over a four-week period and four plays were shortlisted by a panel of writers for a creative writing workshop and script development.
The plays are: Every Single Day by Olubunmi Familoni, The Wait by Bode Asiyanbi, Barcode Dialogue by Atinuke Aweda and Dialing Love by Paul Ugbede.
The winning playwrights have been awarded a cash prize of N100,000 each and will have their plays produced at the forthcoming Lagos Theatre Festival 2016.