The Arcola theatre is one of my favourite studio theatres in London because it’s situated in Dalston, Hackney where I can get a plate of great Caribbean or Turkish food and the ticket price are reasonable.
New Nigerian is written by Olapipo Agboluaje, Hackney resident of British and Nigerian descent who has his work performed at the Oval House, Soho Theatre etc.
The first 3o mins of the play was really difficult to follow. It opens with a speech for the lead character Greatness Ogholi, the way the actor (Patrice Naiambana) performed the speech was weird, I didn’t know whether is talking to himself/practicing-so th fourth wall up or whether the audience were an extension of him/ or close friend. Hence the speech failed to make any impact on the audience and we missed Greatness wanted to do. The poor execution of this speech affect the impact of the sacrifices he will make later.
Once this unit of the play passed, Greatness relationship to audience is establisished and the pieces beginning to explore the political landscape of Nigeria. Agboluaje really used the African nature of big talk to show to disconncetion between the ideas and the lives of ordinary Nigerian. The wit of the writing exposed to the state of relations between all the various religious and tribal factions; the big peronalities/egos and the personal greed that is ruining Nigeria. The esblishment does not want change, as Greatness moves forward he beomes less like the relvoultionary because more of the establishment puppet in order to achieve his goals. This is the reality that young nigerians-the new nigerians must accept and try to a new ways of deminishing the infleunce of the political clique. The dicussion page run by Greatness’s daughther underpins Agboluaje message and new path forward, whilst hinting at the pending failure of Greatness’s efforts.
This piece is an accomphised critic on the current state of Nigerian politics and the audience will defininately enjoy the direct african humor as well the comic performance, it’s must see for everyone. It’s on at the Arcola Theatre , until Saturday 11th March.