As the year rapidly unfolds and structures that determine the year’s outcome are being laid, it has become startlingly clear in a world post-covid, to think outside the box and continuously find innovative ways to create and distribute art. This is what the largest performing arts festival in Nigeria and West Africa, Lagos Theatre Festival (LTF), has planned for its 8th virtual edition which will take place from March 18 -21, 2021.
With this year’s theme as Reckless Art; which represents an Out of Bounds movement and the belief that art should be created with reckless abandon and no limits; Reckless Art celebrates at its core, art that steers, art that inspires, art that moves and art that impacts positively with 10 productions; 7 from Nigerian companies, 2 from the United Kingdom and 1 from the United States of America; pre-recorded and digitally hosted and accessible to the public during the festival. The exciting productions exclusively supported by Lagos Theatre Festival and breathtaking to see in this year’s edition include Kininso Koncepts Productions‘ Cream Body, The Giddy Round Theatre Company‘s This Little World: A Solo Performance of Shakespeare’s Richard II, Maestro Theatre‘s riveting production titled Unbridled. Others are Boys to Men Foundation‘s must-see A Man’s World in Monologues, Adeshine Theatrical Koncepts‘ Reflections, Just Theatre House‘s Time Up?, National Theatre Wales’ Tide Whisperer, Abbey Theatre‘s Dear Ireland III, Beeta Universal Arts Foundation‘s Jagagba and Kininso Koncepts Productions‘ Talk N Do.
About the festival programming for 2021, artistic director, LTF 2021, Lydia Idakula Sobogun says, “We have carefully curated this year’s shows to be fun, interesting, and engaging. This is our first time going digital, and it is extremely important for us to keep the sense of community that LTF has fostered over the years. We are super excited to bring these shows and events to you throughout the month of March and we look forward to seeing you at the festival!”
The LTF, founded by the British Council in 2013 as part of its ambitions of fostering exchange, collaboration, and strengthen relationships between Nigerian and British artists, was created to promote theatre in unconventional spaces and has over the years supported theatre-makers and producers to expand their practice beyond traditional theatre spaces by creating works that respond to any given space. Since its inception, Lagos Theatre Festival has hosted 7 festivals, with a staggering 186 productions, 51 workshops/panels, and over 590 shows, reaching 42,800 people physically and over 770 million people online.
Executive director, LTF 2021, Bikiya Graham-Douglas who gushes about this year’s edition says, “We are excited about this year’s line-up and can’t wait to share it with the world. COVID-19 disrupted and destroyed lives in our country and beyond but against all odds, the arts thrives. This is our first virtual festival and we look forward to new audiences and new experiences.”
The festival, managed by the LTF Foundation, a not-for-profit organization is run by a board of directors including Olasupo Shasore SAN as Chair, Ajoke Jacobs, Tosin Oshinowo, David Evans, and Bolanle Austen-Peters. LTF is sponsored by the British Council and delivered in partnership with Jobberman, National Theatre Wales, Terrakulture, and Nigeria-British Association. The programme will also include activities such as master classes, workshops, panel conversations, and Instagram Live events, all virtually-delivered on all digital platforms and channels.
This year, the festival will be digitally hosted on http://www.lagostheatrefestival.com with StagePlay Africa TV as the official streaming partner for the plays.