The prospect of digital theatre performances was brought to the fore on Sunday following a successful staged reading of Akolo Anthony James’ “The Making of Day”, produced by Umoreng David owned JBW Studios. The idea of digital theatre became imperative following the COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken to checks its spread. Written to be performed exclusively for online platforms like Zoom,
‘The Making Of A Day’ tells the story of Greg, a medical doctor on residence who is in isolation because he has contracted the corona virus. He is the only employed member of his family as the rest have been put out of jobs due to the pandemic. He is overwhelmed by their requests to send them money.
And because he is scared of stigma, he does not tell them he is infected and that his last two salaries were swallowed by the cost of the PPE’s he buys for himself, since the government won’t provide.
On his reading table, he writes an imaginary niece, Irene, telling her of what he is passing through, hoping she will be the only one to understand. Meanwhile, Pastor Nantok has never been left to be by himself, alone, this long, since his wife divorced him. He has always found escape in the “busyness” of his ministry.
With the lock down, he longs for the days when he was portent and could invite a girl over to keep him company. On this day, frustrated, he prays for his healing. Having faith that the healing has come, he decides to scout who will sex-chat with him.
That is where he finds Andoka who has been raped twice during the lock down because she went to beg for food. She is out business due to the pandemic. Andoka’s trauma peaks because from 15, she was serially raped by her uncle until she clocked 20 and ran away to start a life on her own as small business owner…. Explaining further about the show, James who is also an actor, librettist and composer, ‘The Making Of A Day’ is a three-man play where cast members connected from Lagos, Jos, and Ibadan to bring to life, one script.
“The play is a series of monologues that intersect to seem like dialogues. The characters get to meet by sheer coincidence though, and dialogue via video calls. Temitope Agoro (acting from Lagos) gave a brilliant performance as a traumatized victim of rape later turned activist against rapists.
Mark Musa (acting from Jos) played wonderfully well, Nantok, a man castrated by one of the ladies he has molested in the past. Felix Olalekan Olatunji (acting from Ibadan) was also on top of his game playing Greg, a medical in isolation due to COVID.
“Artistically speaking, the play was well received by those who saw it. The only challenge however, was network.