If you haven’t heard or read, there is a stage adaptation of the popular movie I TOLD YOU SO happening this Sunday at the Accra International Conference Centre. Before I continue, I have a little confession…..I have never seen this movie before and now that I think about it, I really can’t find a good enough reason to defend myself.
A few weeks ago, whilst going through Instagram, I saw an ad for the stage play and got very excited. The first reason for my excitement was because I naturally am a big fan of theatre productions and prefer them 10 times to movies. Whilst I get bored of movies and can hardly sit through a whole movie, stage plays excite me and I can never get enough of them. Maybe it’s because I am very old school and vintage, but there is something about going to watch a stage play that feels very 1950’s and special.
The Theatre Production industry is doing fairly well in Ghana, having a good media presence and being able to pull in a decent crowd. It’s easy to mention a few names in this field without t trying too hard; Ebo Whyte, Chief Moomen, Abubakari Latif, Kobina Ansah and Nii Solomon. Aside from these names, a few production houses come to mind as well, Zaafi Arts, Village mind Productions and Springverge productions.
The University of Ghana also has a vibrant Department of Theater Arts under which plays are staged at the Efua Sutherland Drama Studio each week during the academic semester. One of their stage plays that caught on in recent times is the adaptation of Nii Ayi Kwei Armarh’s book; The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born.
As someone who watches plays a lot, I must say that I am not really satisfied with the theatre industry. My excitement to see plays has since died after leaving campus and not being able to access the Drama studio as much as I would want to. Whilst some plays are good, others leave a lot to be desired.
It’s very easy to notice that many of the stage plays appeal to a certain type of consumer, ones that are only seeking entertainment. However, there is a huge gap when it comes to theatre productions that feed the intellectual mind. So, in a country that has a great theatre industry, why isn’t it able to feed the needs of all types of consumers??
I probably fall into the second category hence my excitement about the I TOLD YOU SO adaptation.
This stage play is brought to you by Global Arts and Development Centre creatively led by Abdul Kareem Hakib.
Did you know the film was originally written for stage by Bob Cole, legendary Song Writer, comedian and actor? Well… I just got to know about this last Sunday ( 30th July ) when a few of the cast and crew came on the Writers Project Radio show (you can get the podcast on the website) to give us a feel of what to expect on Sunday, the 6th of August, 2017. The film was directed by Egbert Adjeso in 1970 and shows the Ghanaian way of life in the 70s.
Theatre falls under the Arts, a sector that has the main aim of promoting the culture and way of life of people. This simply means many plays should be showcasing and promoting OUR culture as a way of seeing to it that it is passed on from generation to generation. This is a film that carries so much culture and history both about and in it, a major reason why I am excited to see it.
Another reason is that it’s a stage play that is being done in a local dialect – Fanti and has authentic traditional music. This is something that the Theater Industry also lacks as many of the productions are done in English Language and do not inculcate elements of our culture or send a message.
I really can’t wait to watch this play and get a feel of what Ghana used to be like in the 70s. This for me will help us put into a clearer perspective where we are now and how far our Theatre Industry has come.
Next week, I hope to bring an awesome review of the play and the experience that came with it. For now, I’m off to get a nice afro wig to feel like it’s the 70s again!!!
See you at the Accra International Conference Centre on Sunday!!!!!
WRITER: Lizz Johnson