The National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN) is to stage one of Professor Wole Soyinka’s most performed plays, “Death and the King’s Horseman’’, for Christmas at the National Theater on November 19 and 20.
The Troupe’s Chief Executive Officer, Akin Adejuwon, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Adejuwon said the production was to honour Soyinka and his contributions to the growth of arts and literature in Nigeria.
He added that the play was to be staged as part of the Troupe’s ongoing Christmas celebration performances as well as in commemoration of Prof. Wole Soyinka’s 1986 Nobel Prize feat.
“It is more propitious because, it is thirty years this year since Africa and indeed the world joined Nigeria in celebrating Soyinka’s award of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
“This is a feat that is worth celebrating and we have chosen one of his epic plays which incidentally was written by this time 40 years ago to celebrate the performing and literary icon.
“Indeed we find the play, which has been acknowledged as one of Africa’s best book of the twentieth century, fitting to celebrate this living legend and icon,” the chief executive said.
Adejuwon said the November 19 performance would be a command performance to be hosted by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
He said, “we decided on the public performance and indeed to stage the production in line with the Honourable Minister’s drive to improve on non-oil revenue generation through a wholly Nigerian cultural economy.
“It is also to further fulfill the troupe’s mandate to promote and develop our culturally valuable performance products for both local and international markets,’’ the chief executive said.
NAN reports that the play, which will be directed by Mike Anyanwu and performed by National Troupe artistes and some other guest performers, will open to a paying audience on Nov. 20.
Soyinka became the first African to be awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986.