Written and directed by Akinwumi Sesan, Efunsetan Iyalode Ibadan (a historical drama) will be the curtain-raiser to a series of fascinating line-up of events to mark the 27th edition of the MUSON Festival of the Arts.
An artistic extravaganza, the 2023 MUSON Festival themed “Resilience” is commemorative. It will celebrate the organization’s 40th anniversary and also serve as avenue to remember the founding fathers of the musical society consisting of both the living and the dead who fought doggedly in birthing and sustaining the MUSON in the past four decades. The Festival will take place from October 20th through to the 29th, 2023.
Sponsored by Chevron, the Festival Drama is scheduled for three performances. The first enactment is on Friday October 20th. On Saturday the 21th, the drama will be staged twice by 12Noon and 5pm at the Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.
According to the Executive Director, Professor Muyiwa Peter Awodiya: “Efunsetan Iyalode Ibadan, reveals the resilience of our society to ensure gender balance.” The former Manager of the MUSON Centre and a retired Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Benin, further declared that history was not fair to the protagonist of the play. Efunsetan was the Iyalode of Ibadan during the reign of Aare Latoosa.
The common historical belief, Awodiya said: “was that Efunsetan was a very cruel woman with no historical value in Yorubaland. The present play re-interrogates this popular historical belief thereby revealing the resilience of the woman to ensure peace and unity among the Yoruba people of her period. In the contemporary society, the play underlines the need to be critical and proactive in our thoughts and actions to ensure fairness, equity and justice.”
The thematic concern of the play is relevant to the theme of the 2023 MUSON Festival Drama. It shows the resilience of a woman to live above threats and tribulations that she faces in a patriarchal society. It is the resilience of Efunsetan that still makes her historical figure and subjects of discourse in literary and non-literary texts.
Written by Akinwumi Sesan and directed by Yomi Duro-Ladipo, The drama features impressive cast members that include– Bello Roseline Temitope (as Efunsetan), Isaac Sanjo Ilori (as Osungbekun), Nicholas Akpore (as Osile-Egba), Yomi Duro-Ladipo (as Latoosa), and Adesola Ogundoyin (as Old man/Narrator).
The audience should expect outstanding stage and performance aesthetics as found in the use of costumes, make-up, props and lights. The play offers unique experiences that would call for more.