Registration to participate in the “new” festival ends on August 31, 2018
By McJohn Otontoh, BookArtville Theatre Correspondent
After five years of producing the Lagos Theatre Festival, seen by many as the largest outdoor festival in West Africa, Kenneth Uphopho is leading a team to inaugurate The Lagos Fringe.
The Lagos Theatre Festival is an initiative of the British Council, which Uphopho helped develop between 2013 and 2018.
The Lagos Fringe, to go by its name, is largely a loose local adaptation of the 71 year old Edingburgh Fringe, an annual ritual of open theatre organised in the city which gave it name.
The Lagos Fringe is devised by Mr. Uphopho, his wife Bren, (who have worked together to deliver the LTF through the five years) and will be produced in partnership with Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), Women In the Arts Festival, Access Africa Festival and Freedom Park.
The Inaugural Lagos Fringe Festival will take place from November 11 through 18, 2018: a festival for performing arts and interdisciplinary conversations and will feature local and international artistes from South Africa, U.K., U.S., Ghana, Senegal, Zimbabwe and the Republic of Benin.
“This culture fiesta will present ground-breaking performances in film, theatre and music and showcase these events simultaneously with the 2018 edition of Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF)”, Mr. Uphoho, a widely admired theatre director, says in a release. “We are pushing beyond the usual boundaries in the arts by collaborating with existing platforms to create an experience of a lifetime for artistes and creatives. This year, the focus is on diversity and inclusion in the arts, a development that has birthed creative exchange that will feature industry experts, curators and professionals engaging with emerging artistes for three days during the festival.”
This first edition is scheduled to take place in over 15 separate venues, with Freedom Park as the main hub. Lagos Fringe will present a programme curated with the idea to address audience development and the creative case for diversity in the general arts, theatre and film culture in Lagos. The programme will include plays, showcases, panel discussions, masterclasses, and screening of short, student and documentary films that will be selected from submissions to Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF). The screenings and panel discussions will be free to the public.
One of the venues will be Terrakulture, which will present the opening events for Lagos Fringe such as the unveiling of the Lagos Fringe Advisory Board, Recognition Awards to distinguished practitioners for their contributions to the arts and an opening musical play performance.
The organises say they expect a fare that will be exciting and rich in diverse art forms, especially in encouraging more women, persons living with disabilities and other marginalised demography to express themselves.
Some venues will be across the mainland of the Lagos city, including University of Lagos, Lagos State University, Colleges of education as well as creative hubs in Bariga, Alimosho, Ikeja, Surulere and National Theatre. “The goal is to raise awareness on inclusion and inspire standards for students and performing artistes”, they say.
At the other venues, AFRIFF will host programmes that include seminars, trainings and conference on topics affecting the film industry today. The discussions will tackle different topics ranging from film production, funding, regulatory and distribution issues. These venues will also be a home to screening of shorts, documentary, animation and film.
Registration to participate at the Lagos Fringe is currently ongoing and elapses on August 31, 2018. Interested participants can register by visiting www.lagosfringe.org or www.facebook.com/lagosfringe