Joy Isi Bewaji’s Wedding Blues, produced by Beeta Universal Arts Foundation, was one of the most successful shows during the festival, as an extra show had to be included to accommodate audience surge.
The fifth edition of Lagos Theatre Festival (LTF) 2018 will be held from February 27 till March 4, 2018 in Lagos across various venues with focus on presenting innovative interpretations of new ideas that will inspire and challenge audiences, and new works that will spark conversations and debates. It has ‘Theatre in Unconventional Spaces,’ as theme.
The festival organisers have also announced a call for participation in the fringe strand of the festival, which provides the opportunity for theatre performers or production companies to present their works without restrictions as an avenue to promote arts.
Lagos Theatre Festival was conceived and launched in 2013 by the United Kingdom’s cultural organisation, British Council, inspired by the need to provide a platform for theatre makers in Nigeria to produce works for unconventional spaces and develop audiences for theatre productions.
According to Festival Director of Lagos Theatre Festival, Mr. Kenneth Uphopho, “We want to encourage more experimental works in unconventional spaces and foster more inclusion with this edition of the festival, which will feature performances, a carnival, workshops and variety evening shows in six days. Our series of build-up activities to engage audiences and stakeholders towards the delivery of the festival have already commenced, so the festival has already started.”
The 2017 edition featured over 80 events at 16 venues across Lagos and was well attended by over 5,000 people, including Country Director of British Council Nigeria, Connie Price, Head Sponsorships and Events, First Bank Plc, Bridget Oyefeso Odusami, Lagos State Acting Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Adebimpe Akinsola, Obi Asika, Theo Lawson, Joke Silva, Olu Jacobs and many others.
Following the 2017 outing, most of the works presented at the festival received commendable reviews and referrals to participate in other projects and festivals across the world. One of such is ‘Strelitzia’, an experiential poetry and art installation project which was produced by Poedio Productions and premiered at the last edition of the festival. It is a manifestation of the possibilities of experimenting new ideas and building a piece of theatrical work to theme. Joy Isi Bewaji’s Wedding Blues, produced by Beeta Universal Arts Foundation, was one of the most successful shows during the festival, as an extra show had to be included to accommodate audience surge.
British Council’s Head of Arts in West Africa, Ojoma Ochai, said, “From inception, one major vision of the Lagos Theatre Festival has been to enable an experimental platform of expression for theatre producers and performers, and companies and individuals, who participated in past editions of the festival, have been giving success testimonials. We hope to make more of such stories in 2018.”
Deadline to apply for participation in the fringe strand of the festival is midnight on Monday, September 11, and shortlisted applications will receive responses by Monday, October 6, 2017. Call out for the curated productions for the festival will be made public in the coming weeks.
Lagos Theatre Festival (LTF) was first held in 2013 at Eko Hotel, and featured four shows over one weekend. LTF 2014, held at Freedom Park, also featured four shows over four days. Following a break in 2015, LTF 2016 featured 109 shows over six days in 19 venues working with 35 theatre companies and was supported by First Bank of Nigeria. The 2017 edition featured 86 events in six days at 16 venues with 40 production companies, including three from South Africa, one from the U.S. and one from the U.K and was also supported by First Bank and Etisalat.
The fringe strand of the festival was introduced into the festival in 2016.