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Gomba’s ‘Grit’ hits Platinum Theatre in Port Harcourt December 17 as Lagos, Abuja take turns 2024

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  • December 14, 2023
  • 3 min read
Gomba’s ‘Grit’ hits Platinum Theatre in Port Harcourt December 17 as Lagos, Abuja take turns 2024

* We are calling on lovers of literature to have a feast of letters, says Gomba

By Godwin Okondo

LOVERS of stage performance now have a chance to see the best play to come out of Nigeria in 2023, when Obari Gomba’s Grit hits Port Harcourt stage on Sunday, December 17, 2023. Grit won The Nigeria Prize for Literature 2023 for drama category after beating Abideen Ojomu’s The Ojuelegba Crossroads and Henry Akubuiro’s Yamtarawala – The Warrior King to come first. Performance venue is the Platinum Theatre, Azny Place, Off Sani Abacha Road, GRA, Port Harcourt @2pm and 4pm respectively. The performance has the support of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, sponsors of The Nigeria Prize for Literature.

While Port Harcourt, the author’s city, takes Gomba’s Grit’s first performance shot, Lagos and Abuja will take their turns in 2024, as the play makes the rounds to theatres across the country. Grit is directed Monday Evbuomwan.

Gomba’s Grit explores a family feud between two brothers, who also want to contest for the same political position, egged on by the two opposing political parties that want them annihilated. How this high political conspiracy against two brothers and one family plays out is the stuff of which Grit is dexterously woven to give readers and viewers alike ultimate performance pleasure. Grit is a play for this season of Nigeria’s high political anomie. Copies of the book will also be available at the venue.

What does this first major performance mean for the award-winning playwright and University of Port Harcourt academic? Also, it’s probably the first time a winning work is being staged with the prize sponsor NLNG getting involved in terms of support. What then is the playwright’s expectation from the audience for this politically volatile dramatic piece?

Gomba explains it thus, “It’s (staging the play) is an opportunity to bring people together to enjoy the play in theatre. Text and stage are two modes of presentation that are available to a playwright and his/her audience. This time, the play has to leverage on its momentum. It is a festive period too, and we are calling on lovers of literature to have a feast of letters.

“I do not believe that this is the first time a playwright has staged a play that has won The Nigerian Prize for Literature (after winning it). A lot happens in our literary circle; a lot that go unnoticed. I am however glad that we are presenting this play in a manner that will shape many things in the future. We have produced a hardback edition of the book; it is beautiful; everyone should own a copy. We are reaching out to communities of readers. We also have outreaches planned for next year. It is going to be a pleasant atmosphere (for the audience). I expect people to relax and enjoy their time with us.”

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