Saturday, August 31, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013


“Saro will be a standard for any play of its kind in the future. It is distinctive because this time in Nigeria, we are using these different genres of arts on thread system. Every aspect is peaked whenever on stage.”-- Gbenga Yusuf, Dance Director for SARO

For the past two hours, I have watched you dance and give instructions…
Yes. I am the dance director for SARO, The Musical;I am basically focused on body movement and stage direction, formation and adding to the duties of cast on stage... I help with bringing the music to life with body movement -- dances; creating beautiful movement on stage and so on. Aesthetics is very key in musicals and adding costumes with body movement with different formations add grace to the production. So, that is my primary function in this show.

SARO… Will Change Our Theatre Landscape Significantly, says Kenneth Uphopho, Director (Drama)

"Some musicals that have come out of this country used dance as an accompaniment but in Saro, dance is an instrument of communication, telling that part of the story for that purpose -- not just going to be there for the aesthetics; it is going to tell a story."-- Kenneth Uphopho, Director (Drama) for SARO

Who is Kenneth Uphopho ?
My name is Kenneth Uphopho. I am an actor, a dancer, a theatre producer and director. I am an alumnus of the Lagos State University, Department of Theatre and Music.  I am the Creative Director of the Performing Arts Workshops and Studios (PAWS), an independent theatre outfit based here in Lagos. I have directed over 40 productions for my company and other independent producers. I have also been a part of over 100 stage productions as an actor, dancer, and as a stage manager. I have also co-produced some festivals and directed them. I am the current Artistic Director for the Lagos State Theatre Festival organized by the British Council for 2014; an ongoing project and I am also one of the Directors in SARO.
What aspect of Saro are you directing?
I am in charge of characterization and drama in the play. The play is a musical that brings together different elements of theatre: music, drama, dance, pantomime and mime, etc. So, I am in charge of seeing that other artistic qualities from the actors are carried out effectively in the general production. I am in charge of characterization and the framework of the play.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


"You see, from my experience in the music world, I know when something is marketable, I know when it is commercial; I know when people will appreciate things. When I sit down in my home to listen to music or see movies, I know which one is actually interesting or appealing to people… We are planning to do all genres of music -- synchronized it all together. Music is a universal language. If you are a Nigerian, you will understand it; a Ghanaian, you will understand, no matter where you are from in any part of the world, you will find SARO the musical interesting" -- Ayo Ajayi, Music Director for SARO

It has been pretty difficult to get a chat with you. you've been so busy???
Yes, I have been busy. SARO… is seriously a very big production; we are seriously into it. We have to devote our time.  A lot of commitment has gone into it, having an interview is actually something that comes at the background; not a major for us right now.

Saro- the musical. How great is Saro?
Well, Saro  is something that has never happened in this country before. Not as in the word but, with what we are bringing into it. According to research, Saro is a settlement… where former slaves who came back settled in an area of Lagos Island. In our own way, SARO is a big musical project, and that I can tell you boldly.


Freedom Is What They Seek! SARO: The Four Young Guys Who Embarked On A Journey To The City of Lagos.

SARO: The Four Young Guys.
Lagos was a strategic and important fishing location for the original founders, the Aworis.


“SARO… is going to be a game changer. The show is going to be fabulous.

Monday, August 26, 2013

One on One with Olumide Dada, ‘Azeez’ in SARO

Olumide Dada, known as 'Azeez' in the musical play SARO

In SARO, Olumide Dada plays the role of 'Azeez', the leader of four young performers who embarked on a journey in search of their destiny. The boys shake off the shackles of complacency and head for a land that promises limitless opportunities. Inevitable human emotions ensue, including love, fear, jealousy and the inevitable “success”. 

Freedom is what they seek and Lagos has the potential to offer these emerging artists an escape from poverty. A devastating experience lands them in the lap of destiny, success ignites them and love fuels them. Will their purpose be fulfilled? Destiny is always inevitable. 

Olumide Dada talks about his experience as the theatre world and his excitement for SARO.

SPOTLIGHT: Kenneth Uphopho - Director of Drama - SARO Musical Play

First spotlight of this week is Kenneth Uphopho, the Director of Drama for the musical play - SARO.

Friday, August 23, 2013

SARO UPDATE : Date, Venue and Ticket Details Revealed

DATE: 25th, 26th & 27th October, 2013

25th & 26th – 11:00am, 4:00pm and 7:00pm 
27TH – 1:00pm, 4:00pm and 7:00pm 

New Oriental Hotel Grand Ballroom. No. 3 Lekki Road, Victoria Island, Lagos.

VVIP - 40K,
VIP - 25K,

Mnet/Africa Magic      
Flytime, ARM
First Bank

For more, visit –
Follow on Twitter - @SAROTERRA
Like us on FB – SARO – A Musical Play 

Brilliant Story, Fantastic Cast, Terrific Production Team, SARO!! More Pictures From SARO Rehearsals

As the third week goes by,The drama and musical cast did an outstanding job with this composition.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Check Out Pictures From SARO Rehearsals Week Three

Check Out Pictures From SARO Rehearsals Week Three....
Musical theatre is a form of theatre that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. 

SARO: The Musical Steps Into The Future of Nigerian Drama

The stage in Nigeria will come alive with a major cultural project tagged: Saro: The Musical.

Brief History of Saro In Nigeria

Freed Slaves of Saro
Saro  in Nigeria during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century were freed slaves who migrated to Nigeria in the beginning of the 1830s.

Monday, August 19, 2013

SPOTLIGHT: Meet Tomi Odunsi One Of The Drama Cast For SARO The Musical Play.

Tomi Odunsi popularly known as “Salewa” in one of Africa’s biggest TV series “Tinsel”
gets out of her zone to pursue a music career also in acting and song writing.

The Story Of SARO Musical

SARO is the story of four young men who are determined to break from the yoke of frustration and lack of opportunities to explore their talents and realize their dreams  decided to embark on a journey to the land of opportunities, Lagos.

‘SARO… is a liberating experience for me… for the people of Africa’ - Makinde Adeniran, Executive Director, SARO

‘SARO… is a liberating experience for me… for the people of Africa’ - Makinde Adeniran, Executive Director, SARO

"For the theatre practitioners, it is about learning, like I said, we learn new things. So it is about learning, all of us learning a new way to do certain things.  Because, that is the vision of the project; if possible stop our money bags from going abroad to bring entertainment into the country. There are people who can do it here.  All we have not been able to do is to act.  We keep talking and talking and not doing but the opportunity has been provided now by Terra-Kulture to do."--Makinde Adeniran, Executive artistic director for SARO

May we meet you sir?
My Name is Makinde Adeniran.

You are the Artistic Director, who wrote the play?
I am the Executive Artistic Director. I have other directors working with me -- Kenneth Uphopho, Gbenga Yusuf (dance), Ayo Ajayi (music). I have some consultants too. I have personnel who are young, vibrant and they are pushing the force to make this a reality. We have our Executive Producer, Bolanle Austen-Peters, who equally is the MD of Terra Kulture. She created the piece, the story.

In recent years, you seemed to have taken a break from the Theatre to work in the Media Industry…
Yeah, Media industry… that was a stint. True, in the media industry, we tried to do our best as you know; you know how that story ends. That was the bit I could do in the media. My forte has always been the theatre and that is what I am trained for and I have spent going to 25 years of my life doing. So, the terrain for me is the one that is inseparable from my personality; so it is like my comfort zone.

“I AM COMPLETELY EMOTIONALLY INVESTED IN SARO THE MUSICAL” -- Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters, Creator and Producer of SARO

Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters, Creator and Producer of SARO

“I want to appeal to their (audiences’) sense of aesthetics.I want to appeal to their sights through the sounds. I want them to feel they are in an international performance…
they could be in Paris, New York or anywhere in the world when they step into the theatre… because we are going to alter everything… we are doing what has never been done in Nigeria… it is not for the faint-hearted. But we intend to do it right. People should just come and have fun”.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Check Out Pictures From SARO Rehearsals Week Two

Musical theatre is a form of theatre that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. 

SPOTLIGHT - Bolanle Austen-Peters, Creator & Executive Producer, SARO

SPOTLIGHT - Bolanle Austen-Peters, Executive Producer, SARO

Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters has a Masters degree in International Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Law degree from the University of Lagos.  She is the Founder of Terra Kulture. Terra Kulture is an educational and recreational organisation set up in 2003 to promote the richness and diversity of Nigerian Languages, Arts and Culture. 

Bolanle Austen-Peters, Executive Producer, SARO - A Musical Play

Today Terra Kulture, a private sector initiative is a resounding success recognized as a major cultural hub in Nigeria for expatriates, students, Hollywood and Nollywood stars, artists and members of the diplomatic corps.

She has worked as Consultant to the Ford Foundation on setting up a Corporate Council for Arts and Culture in Nigeria. Through her initiative the Council has been set up and has received 2million USD from the Ford Foundation to support the arts in Nigeria.

REVIEW: Musical Play In Nigeria

Nigerian theatre makes extensive use of music. Often, this is simply traditional music used in a theatrical production without adaptation.

Friday, August 9, 2013


From its origin in the streets of Lagos, popular music in Nigeria took its root from African pop, bringing in influences and instruments from many ethnic groups and traditional music stylings. 

Despite the destructive attempts of the Atlantic Slave Trade coupled with  foreign religion and culture of  the ‘Potokis’ (Portuguese), Nigerian music established itself and became prevalent in the life of its people.

Nigerian music began to wear a new face with the influences of several cultures and music genres of the twentieth century; from the Waltz to the Tango, Rock ‘n’ Roll to Jazz, even South America’s Calypso to the Cha Cha. Traditional Nigerian heritage coupled with the influences of the emerging century birthed motivation and creation of what we call Nigerian music today.

Nigerian music, high life, afro beat, afro pop, afro fusion and the like remain highly entertaining, inspirational and deeply entrenched in culture. A composition of art imitating life and life imitating art, embraced not only by its natives but spanning across the continent and now the globe. Welcome to the heart of African music.

Welcome to the future!