Ifeoma Fafunwa’s social impact play, Hear Word!, is no longer a stranger to anyone, I believe. It’s been a runaway success since it first hit the stage in Lagos and has blown away audiences around the world since then. European and American cities have had a feel of its sterling, mind stirring performance.
Hear Word!, The New York Times says, has created “sparks to be fanned into flame. By the end, the brightness radiating from its all-female cast has the glare and heat of a raging bonfire.’
“I’m a force, a tidal wave,” declares one of its feisty actresses in a moment of epiphany. The line speaks for the play and for the premier league all female cast and producer. The tidal waves surges through the magnificent Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh tonight. As it has three shows before tonight’s show.
The world is standing up and cheering as the play addresses issues of gender inequality, domestic violence, abuse, disrespect, bravery, sisterhood and transformation. The tidal wave continues tomorrow and won’t pause until Sunday. Here, we’re talking of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival holding in Scotland. It’s arguably the world’s largest theatre festival, with almost three million audiences and over 3,000 shows. It’s like the world cup. The play features Nigeria’s first eleven thespians –here, I’m adding the co-writer, director, Ifeoma Fafunwa.
The legendary Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett is the only member of the cast and crew who’s making a second journey to this 75-year old festival. She last appeared on stage there over three decades ago. I caught up with her and the other delightful members of iopen eye group: Joke Silva, Ufuoma McDermott, Elvina Ibru, Omonor, Zara Udofia-Ejoh, Rita Edward, Odenike and Oluchi Odii, as well as master percussionists Emeka Anokwuru and Blessing Idireri. I took these narrative pictures before their KLM flight took off.
Believe it or not, the mother of theatre, Lycett, just said ‘yes’ to me I post on my Facebook. Astounding remarks until my aproko friend, trust lawyers to rain on your parade, responded: “We have no doubt she said, yes but what was the question?”
Well, the question was, “Ma’am, could I have a selfie with you?”
So, yes, it was.
Script, photos and what else by Aoiri Obaigbo, author of The Wretched Billionaire.