Dear Nii Kpakpo,
I know this article has been long overdue but like our elders say it is better late than never. So here I am after several weeks after the fact I get to write the story. Stage drama has taken a different turn in this country and surely we the patrons are very happy with recent developments.
Back in the day when we were students of the premier university we used to troop to the Efua Sutherland Drama studio at the least provocation to watch live drama and this choice we made over going to the movies or to the more popular food joints. I mean this was the place when we told the gals on campus we’re taking them out we frequently went to have some fun. This place was unparalleled to any video center or eatery for that matter.
Nii Kpakpo these were days of lore. But right after school it all and died down in the end more movies are coming out and stage drama became lost in the fray either becoming the exclusive preserve of church auditoriums and a few playwrights emerging there too..
Recently Uncle Ebo Whyte has a become like the paragon of traditional stage craft having the flair file molding amateurs into players on the stage to very good results and I will say it has been successful in creating his brand . Furthermore since the audience is diverse in a metropolitan world these plays can be staged anywhere to a particular audience.
Nii Kpakpo quire recently Uncle Ebo brought one of his plays to us in Tamale for those who can not always travel down for them and admitted how expensive it was for such a thing to be possible . It was in this vein that I was wondering when my tall and lanky friend Latif will bring one of his scintillating plays to us in the far flung regions too. You should hear my joy when after finally getting in touch with him he told me not to think far because he was bringing a political satire I Can’t Think Far on a road tour and Tamale was on the list.
Anyemi being an election year I believed the title was apt since it was really about political tolerance and how politicians go about running their campaigns. The play bears several themes all treated effectively in humor and satire and the audience was thrilled right from the beginning to the end . A typical Latif play had quibs that the audience could identify with and who could miss the obvious flamboyant promises of the braggart politicians on what they can do for their electorate when voted for.
Nii Kpakpo Thompson unlike Uncle Ebo whose cast are purely amateurs that he grooms himself Latif takes his cast from both the professional pool and he augments it with the amateur pool. How he manages this blend is one of his traits that have won the admiration of many of his patrons . In this particular pay he casts Adjetey Annan, the award winning actor and Ecow Smith Asante who is a professional drama expert and consultant . These two he blends with a potpourri of cast from various backgrounds to stage this thrilling action that kept the audience in their seats for over an hour.
It is true that we love movies anyemi but plays are on their own level of reality where we don’t really need special effects (or maybe we havent gotten there yet) to thrill audiences and all the issues ate resolved at the end. There are movies on which issues not resolved and hence the kumawoods kyeiwaas 1-14 parts.
So Kpakpo I Can’t Think Far passed through the savanna capital with the promise of more to come. So tell Latif we are waiting . Furthermore the other budding playwrights like Kwabena should know that we are part of Ghana too so they shouldn’t leave us out.
Brossss! Till I come your way with another missive keep up putting people on the spot on your show.
Your Cousin in Law,