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‘Kakadu’ returns to MUSON stage December 28, relives golden Lagos nightlife

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  • December 26, 2023
  • 4 min read
‘Kakadu’ returns to MUSON stage December 28, relives golden Lagos nightlife

* Still asking critical questions of Nigeria’s nationhood 63 years after tragic civil war ended

By Editor

THE definitive musical theatre Kakadu, written and produced by the lawyer, Mr. Uche Nwokedi (SAN), will return to the stage at MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos, starting from Thursday, December 28 through 30, 2023. This outing marks Kakadu’s 10th anniversary since it was first staged in 2013 at the same venue to critical acclaim. Lovers of musical theatre are in for a great time, as call for new cast and rehearsals for Kakadu started early October for a perfect show that will delight audiences. Kakadu will run for three days from Thursday through Saturday, December 28, 29 and 30, 2023.

Kakadu was a famous nightclub back in the 1950s and 1960s, but then the Nigerian Civil War broke out and rendered brothers and friendships asunder. But when the fog of war finally cleared in January 1970 and victims and victors alike began to pick up the pieces of their lives, Kakadu’s owner returned to his nightclub business, but life was no longer the same. How did it all happen and where has that national scar left the country ever since? This is at the heart of Kakadu the Musical Theatre. However, the musical theatre’s resonance is for all seasons, which is what marks out Kakadu, as a timeless piece of dramatic art with implications for today and tomorrow.

Like all works of art, the critical question Kakadu asks is: how do we build a nation out of Nigeria that is drifting? Because Kakadu is at the heart of Nigeria’s national question – where did the rain of confusion start beating Nigerians and how can they procure a good home/nation to shield them from the rain of under-development, poverty, corruption, bad governance? This is also what makes thematic concern of Kakadu timeless, as Nwokedi explains. The only thing that can consign Kakadu to mere historical footnote as piece of drama, although an important one for that matter, is when Nigeria gets its political and economic acts together and builds a strong and enviabe nation out of Lord Lugard’s Nigeria, still a British creation in search of direction and identity!

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Nightlife party in full swing at Kakadu the Musical Theatre

“The main thing is that Kakadu is an enduring production with an enduring theme,” Nwokedi explaind, as he prepared for the holiday show. “What I find most interesting is that the plot and its message continues to resonate through the years, with the central question – How do we build a nation? Each time we run we leave it to the cast to address that question. The plot continues to resonate throughout Nigeria, especially Nigeria today. It’s always relevant, always addressing our national consciousness; it’s enduring. It’s the kind of production that when you see it again, the historicity of it puts your mind on enquiry – “where are we now?” Even now, as we are running it, we have seen other directions we could actually go if we wanted to. But we need to be careful to keep it simple and not to overstretch or extend too much. So, it’s an interesting production, and to be honest with you, when I wrote it, I didn’t think it would have this kind of impact on theatre in Nigeria. At the time it was just a fun project for my foundation – The Playhouse Initiative.

“That is one of the central questions. Where do we go from here? So, the question is, ‘how do we build a nation?’ When we staged it in South Africa, that was what they held on to. One of the patrons who came to see the show said she liked the fact that, at the end of the day, we asked the question, ‘how do we build a nation?’, because that’s also where they are. That question, ‘how do we build a nation’ resonated so well with them. That is a question that’s facing Nigeria today: how do we build a nation? It’s a question we should always ask ourselves in everything that we do: how do we build a nation?”

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