By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
An educative play titled “Ten Blocks on the Camino Real” recently enchanted and challenged audiences in various locations in Accra through magnetic performances by the National Drama Company (Abibigromma).
Directed by the American theatre maestro David Kaplan, the production – which is an outdoor one – delighted audiences on street corners, markets and community centres with its message of people taking full charge of their lives and making taking right decisions while planning for their old age.
Originally written in the 1940s by Tennessee Williams, it is interspersed with subtle drumming and xylophones while unveiling a dramatic story of a popular American boxer, who travels to a place known as Camino Rail, meets strange people while experiencing equally abnormal situations, which compelled him to engage in a rather bizarre manner.
“It is an interesting play that engages your mind in various ways – the actors and actresses are truly professional thus they constantly grabbed the attention of the audience. We need more of such performances to educate our people”, said Nii Otto Darko, a primary school teacher during the performance in Teshie, a suburb of Accra.
With scenes revealing visits to fortune tellers and logic defying events, the play equally touched on the complexities of life while calling on the audience to be aware of such possibilities in life and urged them to take charge of their lives and handle such difficulties with utmost care.
Indeed, it is a drama of huge ideas – it reveals the need for logic and rationality as well as events relating to the physical and the supernatural – all presented by powerful acting by experienced actors and actresses including Mawuli Semevo, Abena Takyi, Eldad Womtumi, Yaa Ocloo and Godwin Awador.
“Performing this play on streets and markets is a laudable idea – it is very important to take theatre to people who would normally not be in a position to see shows in a theatre. It is refreshing to see local drums infused into a foreign drama”, added Yaa Pokua, a dancer / choreographer in Accra.
Produced by David Kaplan, the play is scheduled to be performed later this year at the Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival in Princetown (New York), United States of America.