Temiloluwa Fosudo in another episode of Trauma
If only the world can pay more attention to the counsel of Jeffery Farnol, a British writer, on vengeance, there will be some measure of peace on earth. Having seen the evils of personal and group requital, the writer said: “Vengeance is an emptiness and he that seeketh it, wasteth himself.”
The play, Another Episode Of Trauma, written by Temiloluwa Fosudo, recently staged in Lagos, showcased the evils of vengeance.It tells the story of Joseph (Olumide Dada), whose younger sister is killed in the northern part of Nigeria while on compulsory one-year national service.Troubled as to how the nation cannot protect its future leaders, and also, how the Boko Haram sect will in the name of religion brutally send young Nigerians to their early graves, Joseph plans a reprisal attack.
Filled with emotion, he damns the consequences of his action on his family and his immediate community. Using a latent approach, he begins to attack the ungodly group through his newspaper articles and cartoons, which bring him fame and large following. Joseph, through this, finds a friend in Tonia (Emeka Aribe), who is also crying for a change. The two want change in the polity, but through different means. While Joseph chooses the radical approach, Tonia, in his wits wants a subtle method to effect political change that will not lead to bloodletting.
At first, the bosom friends are united in their focus, until the belligerent nature of Joseph begins to manifest, making Tonia to tell Mariam (Bola Fatomi), Joseph’s wife, what her husband is up to.Joseph’s reprisal mission sets him on a bitter collision with Tonia and his wife. His planned actions cause him psychological imbalance and creates tension in his life, to the point of threatening his marriage. However, he insists on carrying out his revolutionary plans and secretly begins to gather arms and ammunition.
Gathering enough weapon, Joseph launches out at his target group, using the guerilla warfare. Unfortunately, he finds himself entangled in the web, as the group overpowers him and kills all his family members, including his pregnant wife. Not able to stomach the misfortune, Joseph takes his own life.Directed by Kingsley Eze and produced by OneHouse Troupe, the play, aside from cautioning those fanning the embers of war, tells the horrible tales of war — Showing how war affects all, including those not directly concerned. The play also calls on those in power to be responsive and responsible to the people, especially the weak, as well as urging political class to desist from threatening the peace of the nation.
Some may call it a revolutionary play, especially as Joseph, the lead character, puts himself into the play, bringing out the agony and pains of the downtrodden and the highhandedness of leaders. But Mariam uses her feminine appeal to make her husband change his mind.
Mariam and her husband showed a high level of dexterity on stage, while Tonia looked like a person trying to find his level. Though the stage is small, the director did not use lighting effect to show those nerve-wrecking part, instead, he allowed the casts to merely tell the story. Also, entering the stage from the left side shifted audience attention to that side, expecting most action to come from there. He could have balanced the attention by making some of the parts, if need be, to be amid the audience.He further made the hall tense by not playing music. A musical call for either a revolution or peace should have been played at the background depending on the scenes.
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