Arnold Asamoah Baidoo writes: Support the arts!
Epic showcase for The Gods Are Not To Blame!
We have seen a deluge of theatrical productions in Ghana for many years and we have seen such an upgrade in the productions in the last couple of years, but what we witnessed last weekend at the National Theatre, Accra, courtesy of Image Bureau and April Communication was simply a statement.
That statement was the fact that, we have the skill set to tackle any creative project. We command the resources to pull any type of production off, we have the personnel to ensure that we can produce plays of all proportions and lastly, when projected rightly, we have the people who would patronise.
The showing of The Gods Are Not To Blame was grand.
Collaboration & Personnel
We have seen George Quaye’s Image Bureau and Naa Ashorkor’s April Communication collaborate on a series of plays thus far but a collaboration with the National Theatre of Ghana was rare but worth it.
What that alliance means is that, it’s okay to go alone but to go far, you need to go together – and with a cast and crew close to 100 personnel, the involvement of the National Theatre made sense.
The Gods Are Not To Blame encompassed different elements of acting, dance, choreography, acrobatics and the use of several extras and to get all that, George and Naa had to rely on the National Theatre.
Clearly, handling a crew and cast close to 100 personnel to a point where they had to execute to near perfection comes with discipline, professionalism, dedication and zeal – and these guys delivered, under the aegis of Director, George Quaye and his assistants.
The Gods Are Not To Blame play presented such an elaborate production that included some eye-pleasing effects that are not usually seen in our theatre space. The special effects, especially the burning sword were the highlights of the play but everything else, from sound to lighting to stage meshed perfectly to present an almost flawless night.
And for an auditorium that has been blighted with logistical issues, being at the same place almost felt like it had no related issues considering how fluid and seamless the play went from start to finish with all those innovative elements.
It was so because; George and Naa went out of their way to look for professionals who could provide whatever resource was needed to compliment the play.
They sought assistance from a professional to design/sketch the stage set-up, which turned out to be quite a spectacle. They also looked out for another professional who could create magic with the burning sword and it turned out to be the biggest highlight of the play.
From the commencement of the play to its completion, every technical detail worked effectively, allowing such impressive fluidity that got patrons engaged and enthralled.
Andrew Adotey is arguably the best actor on stage in his generation and he cemented that attribute with such a stellar performance over the weekend.
With the entire play hovering around his character, it meant Andrew had so many lines to cover and boy; he nailed it effortless, a testament of his longevity and prowess on that stage.
The amalgamation of the veterans with the young bloods was such a good call. It was refreshing to see legends of the stage and big screens, David Dontoh, Fred Amugi, Mawuli Semevor and others blend beautifully with known faces such as Naa Ashorkor and the not-too-known faces of all the acts from the stables of the National Theatre.
Every actor, including the extras understood their respective assignments and delivered with such aplomb. And for the likes of Fred Amugi, regardless of their age and seeming frailty, their ability to do a 2-day and four slots of such a demanding play is commendable and assuring.
The point is; there are many veterans of the stage, who are yearning for the opportunity to get back on that stage, blend with the young ones and impart their knowledge and experience to the young generation of stage actors.
Support Is Critical
With that elaborate production seen over the weekend, it is evident that, Image Bureau and April Communications injected lots of funding and resources into this play.
The sheer production cost, plus cast and crew cost, together with every other element that goes into such a detailed play show that, one cannot execute effectively without funding.
Such productions need money; the creative space needs money!
Last weekend’s showing was an unequivocal indication that with support and funding, we can do anything and everything under this sun in terms of theatre or any other project in this creative economy.
With just one production, mouths were fed; vendors got business, service providers were sorted and quality entertainment was served.