MOREMI

Edited Moremi National Theatre

SYNOPSIS

 

Moremi RSV is a modern / contemporary stage adaptation of the popular Yoruba legend developed by Evolution Media as inspired by Sewedo Nupowaku and scripted by Ayodele Arigbabu in 2003. The play takes many liberties with the original legend, the key one being that it addresses the crisis which sees Moremi offer her child as a sacrifice to save her people, from that child’s perspective.

Based on the legend of Moremi (The Yoruba Queen who through bravery and personal sacrifice liberates her people from external oppression), and drawing exciting inferences from the theme, adapting the tale to contemporary sensibilities, designed for family entertainment but with particular regard for youthful fantasies and energies, Ayodele Arigbabu’s stage adaptation makes a parody out of the original legend, taking liberties with characterization and plot interpretation. A near musical thriller / comedy is enacted in line with the original operatic interpretation done by the late theatre legend- Duro Ladipo. However, succinct communication is maintained on issues of responsibility, and choice, albeit in an “irreverent fashion” at times. Moremi: Revised Standard Version was staged for the first time on the 13th of December 2003 (Produced by Evolution Media and directed by Gbenga Ajayi) at the University of Lagos Main Auditorium to an appreciative audience and critical acclaim in the newspapers.

More about Moremi RSV:

In the RSV, Moremi, lately widowed queen consort of Ife, displayed a passion for social causes early enough in the play when she led the successful rebellion of the market women against the extortionist excesses of their leader, thus earning herself the position of the new leader. But it is a joy short-lived as the Igbo marauders choose the occasion of her installation ceremonies to once again raid the town, with the market being, as usual, their main target. Wares and women are despoiled in the process. The Ifes are no sissies, only may be a little superstitious, for they have never really resisted the Igbo who, covered in grass, are unfathomable spirits to them. Perhaps for the personal turn that this social disgrace has now taken, Moremi soon vows to take an action….

Culled from MOREMI: A MYTH MEETS ITS MATCH, a review by Deji Toye, circa December 2003.

Moremi: The Thriller.

There have been several adaptations of the saga of the brave woman from Ile Ife who ‘slept’ with enemy commanders of the invading troops from Igbo and used the inside knowledge to lead her country to repel and defeat the enemy afterwards. One of the more popular of these is Femi Osofisan’s Morountodun. But no playright has overhauled the story so much and taken it out of the folk setting until Ayodele Arigbabu’s Evolution Media intervened. His postmodern version of the saga is intellectually stimulating….

Toyin Akinosho
(Artsville, Sunday Guardian)

THE CROWN TROUPE OF AFRICA is a Dance-Theatre Company conceptualized on the 1st of June 1996 by a group of young persons who share a common belief in the viability of the arts as a tool for social re-engineering. The group is steeped in the art of creating new works that are relevant, thought provoking and empowering.

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