Theatre in unconventional spaces is a theme that the British Council is exploring in Nigeria, and this includes using the digital landscape as a platform to deliver performances. In our latest project we partnered with LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre), one of the UK’s most prestigious theatre festivals, on Longitude, a multi-platform theatre experience that ran across three episodic performances using Google Hangouts to connect performers in Barcelona, Lagos and London.
Set in a near-future when water has become a scarce resource, Longitude tells the story of five characters endeavouring to smuggle and sell water to Nigeria, and make a killing out of climate change.
The show featured creative teams based in Lagos, Barcelona and London who are linked via google hangout. Established theatre practitioners Toyin Oshinaike and Ifeoma Fafunwa make up the Lagos creative team.
Toyin Oshinaike lauded the use of digital space for theatre production, seeing the way to go, especially to engage young people.
‘The LIFT 2014 'Longitude' experience is my second festival of theatre and also my second site-specific theatre experiment. The first being the British Council's Lagos Theatre Festival with the production of 'Waiting For A Lottery'. The difference is the digital factor of the Longitude production where actors from three cities (Lagos, London, Barcelona) rehearsed and performed live online via the google hangout platform in three episodes. The first episode had over 100,000 viewership. It was easy for me to adapt because of my earlier participation in the British Council workshops on site-specific theatre in physical and digital spaces,’ He says.
A web page was created to host the show and theatre lovers were encouraged to follow the link and become a part of the ground breaking performance.
Synopsis of play
City analyst Nerida Thomson has dug up an amazing prospect in Lagos, Nigeria, where a desperate need for water could end up netting Nerida millions - but only the strange leaders of the Academy of Water and Spiritual Healing (AWASH) have the connections to make it happen.
A deal with the Academy is struck, and Amenawon’s plan to bring a huge shipment of water to Lagos is within reach. But who can you really trust when millions of pounds are at stake?
London and Lagos are waiting for their ships to come in, and Barcelona is pulling the strings. Will the water conspiracy succeed? Or is too much to hope that five people can change the world?