“Alagbaoso makes The Joy of Professor Abednego Jnr. a good read for diverse readers, as well as highly performable in schools, troupes and companies.”
Prolific Nigerian playwright and novelist, Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso, has released another play, The Joy of Professor Abednego (2018), published by Kraft Books Limited, Ibadan. The 83-page book has a major character in Professor Paul Benjamin Abednego Jnr., who returns to Nigeria after many years of sojourn to the United States, empty-handed and a social misfit, to the bewilderment of his parents, Mr Benjamin Abednego Snr. and Mrs Queen Abednego, who financed his education abroad, hoping that he would take care of them in their old age.
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Hinting on the preoccupation of the play, the playwright says: “This play is essentially a dimensional food for thought for families, especially when one reflects on the regrets and disappointments some families are exposed to sending their children abroad in search of the Golden Fleece.
“Here, twin brothers, Paul and Peter, are sent abroad in their early years by their parents – a retired principal of a secondary school and his wife, a retired headmistress of a primary school. Paul and Peter, as a matter of fact, go abroad, qualify respectively, as professor of science and a pilot but stay back and forget their parents. Both of them get involved in reckless lifestyles…”
The author recommends that constant communication and supervision are necessary between children who are sent abroad for education and their parents at home: “This is to avoid such accumulated experiences and mistakes of Mr Benjamin and Mrs Queen Benjamin Abednego with their sons, Paul and Peter.”
Urenna Jerry of the Temple University School of Pharmacy, Philadelphia, USA, explains further: “Through a robust exploration of comedic invasion, use of simple and lucid language, a linear but intriguing plot, Alagbaoso makes The Joy of Professor Abednego Jnr. a good read for diverse categories of readers, as well as highly performable in schools, troupes and companies.
“Jerry Alagbaoso’s drama has surely matured; his creative vision getting sharper and clearer with each work he writes. The Joy of Professor Abednego Jnr. confirms this assertion.”
Meanwhile, the playwright has reissued 11 plays of his with new covers. These include Armchair Parents, The First Lady, Mine: An Enduring Heart, Specks in Our Eyes, Ina-Aga, His Excellency and the Siren, Signs and Wonders, Oh! My Rolls Royce and My Fairly Old Wife, Honourable Chairman, Sorters and Sortees, and The First Day.
In 2016, these plays, published at various times in the author’s fecund writing career, spanning two decades, were reprinted as three collected plays according to thematic preoccupations by Kraft Books. They were subsequently approved for use by UBEC and circulated over schools across the country.
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The latest, single reprints are aimed at making the book more affordable to students and other readers. Said Alagbaoso: “The collected books published two years ago were well received throughout the country, but there were complains that they were voluminous and a bit expensive to the average student to afford. Therefore, we have to reprint them as single, cheaper plays with slim volumes and attractive covers.
The reprinted books are circulated by Kraft Book, 6A Polytechnic Road, Sango, Ibadan, Oyo State, and are now available in bookshops, alongside the critically acclaimed play, Tony Wants to Marry (shortlisted for the 2017 ANA Prize for Drama) and the novel, Officers and Men.