What The Hunter Saw, A Glimpse Into The Mind, Sensibilities Of A Writer
To mark the Nigeria’s 61st Independence, Arojah Royal Theatre (ART) re-staged What The Hunter Saw, a social engagement project deploying theatre in the
Symbolism, likewise, weighs in on What The Hunter Saw, as the playwright addresses the labelling of Soyinka as a traditionalist, and the dangers of such labelling pigeonholes people and curtails development.‘‘A lot of symbols in the play, such as Hunter So’s morning devotion in Yoruba – the traditional way of devotion – offered while in his pajama, an English night garment, is a mix of the traditional and modern, which partly explores the writer’s personality, while also a calling for the peoples’ realization that one can be a mix of many things, which keep them open to growth and change.
‘‘People like Soyinka are able to break boundaries. They are not limiting themselves by identity. Rather than a traditionalist. I would say Soyinka is a humanist. He will discuss any subject matter and respect you for whatever you are,’’ said Adeniran.
He achieves further interaction with the older and literary audience via the play’s dialogue which borrows a line or two from Soyinka’s plays and poems such as Abiku, and Death and the King’s Horsemen.But the 40 mins production felt too brief and dense to unpack. Like a short film with the potential to become a feature film, the playwright said What The Hunter Saw is a surface scratch of what the work can become. The current production, and the initial one directed by the late Fayaman Adesewo, which highlighted more of the intersection between Soyinka and Thomas Transtromer, are minimalistic in nature to allow for easy movement of the play and cast. headtopics.com
Indeed, the play as other short plays written by Adeniran has travelled wide; a success he didn’t anticipate given the time (two weeks and one draft) it took to create the work. ‘‘It just didn’t occur to me that I have put so much into it. It is an unfinished work. There is so much that I could still have added. There are still happenstances, situations, songs that I could have added. If the money, time and space were available. This is bigger than what you saw here.”
But like the play’s end which saw the protagonist admissive of his own faults, real or assumed, but persistent on his cause, the playwright is optimistic of the play’s impact and capacity to extend even further beyond its present state and reach.Read more: LEADERSHIP Newspaper »
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