Lagos Theatre Festival
In February 2020 I visited Lagos, Nigeria. As a half Nigerian I had been anxious to visit for the first time to find out a bit more about who I am and where I come from. The perfect opportunity arose when I was awarded a travel bursary by the British Council to go and review the Lagos Theatre Festival.
I didn’t know what to expect from the Lagos Theatre Festival; a slightly more relaxed approach than the UK for sure, but other than that I was blind. It’s not an outlandish comment to say that the UK’s theatre scene is largely monoculture. Things are gradually changing but there are still huge gaps in accessibility to the scene for those coming from diverse backgrounds. Like most industries, it’s difficult to get a foot in the door without a connection, and harder still to keep it there if unable to work for cheap or for free. This removes it as a viable workplace for those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. The theatre industry in Lagos is currently being built back up from scratch, and with that rebuild serious considerations have gone into who the theatre is for and how to make it an environment that everyone feels comfortable in, in order for it to thrive.
It is being reestablished as a social gathering for multiple groups and a place you can go to meet friends and involve yourself in the productions. I speak with one of the organisers, Lydia, about what the experience was like putting the festival together as well as what they have in store for this year's virtual festival.
If you'd like to find out more, head to https://lagostheatrefestival.com
Big thanks to the following for making this podcast happen: