“Marriage is like a public toilet; those inside want to come out and those outside are in a hurry to go inside”
This was one of the several lines that Sweet Dreams and Nightmares produced. It was obvious that the play lived up to its billing. And of course Nii Commey continues to set the pace in bringing a paradigm shift in the theatre industry in Ghana.
A cross section of audience I spoke with were amazed at how Nii Commey was able to craftily web his issues around only four characters with clarity and incessant humour. In fact there was never a dull moment.
The first show started later than scheduled and had some of the audience dissatisfied with the same old “Ghana Man Time” syndrome, but the opening scene to the curtain call was to atone for the trespasses committed. Soon the audience forgot about the lateness and had their monies worth.
The main character Dimples Kwantabisa, known in real life as Mrs Eunice Tornyi was the toast of the audience, not only with her intriguing acting, but her captivating voice. Applause was the commonest the audience could do anytime she finishes singing.
It is worth mentioning that over 95% of the songs used in the play were originally written by Nii Commey and composed by Dimples. This was where the paradigm shift comes in- unprecedented in contemporary Ghanaian theatre. Using four characters to hold the audience spellbound with laughter and cheers was a sign of great ingenuity.
Spirogyra, the friend of Koka, the tragic hero, was another character who mesmerized the audience with his stage craft, and humour galore. Trying to help his friend to get his fiancée back, he took him through Phonetics classes and offered to pray for him. The theme of the prayer was to ask God to avert the engagement list that was presented to Koka. These are excerpts of the prayer:
“Father, your son has been given a gargantuan engagement list like the electoral figures coming from Ketu South… when Blackberry and Apple were fruits, there was peace… but ever since they became technology, we have known no peace. Apple Macintoch and your brother Blackberry, God punish you. May you eat your own flesh and drink your own blood’.
Every scene came in with twists and turns…with mischief from characters, hypocrisy from friends, disguise from suitors and emotions from partners
Then comes Dimples who insults her friends within her, for making her their “resident maid of honour”. Hear her.
“Look at Adjeley too. She wants me to be her maid of honour. Adjeley, with her teeth like Arabic words”
Dimples is getting frustrated every day by the mere fact that her female colleagues have turned her into ‘resident maid of honour’. What is even more disturbing is the fact that she feels she is prettier than all those girls who keep making her their maid of honour. Listen to her:
“On a daily basis, Dimples expresses her frustration, until she decides to vent her spleen on her boyfriend, Koka (also her course mate at the University), who has been looking for a job three years after completing University.
In the end Dimples was bamboozled by a dazzling man called Marvin Moore who claimed he had just arrived from the United States, just to discover that it was all but fluke. She is then compelled to go back and seek for reunion with her old boyfriend. But as to whether Koka will also receive her was another twist to the story.
Aside the appeal the play has in the sight of the audience, technically it was very solid in all areas: electrifying plot; well-constructed conflict, profuse suspense and strong dramatic irony. The dialogue was intensely rich in wit and play on words. Tempo was fast, slapsticks was visible in an interview with Isaac Mends, a theatre practitioner, he was so optimistic about theatre in Ghana
“From what I watched tonight, I thought Nii Commey was an elderly man, but seeing him in person gives me joy because he is a young man, and I am very certain that with people like him, the theatre industry has a very bright future. This is an Emmy Awards standards.”
Nii Commey also spoke of the production
I want to thank all those who came to watch the show. The feedback I have received indicates that our audience was satisfied. Your patronage always gives me inspiration never to give up. And I promise I will not let you down.”
He also appealed to corporate bodies for support.
“I entreat all stakeholders, corporate bodies to come support this worthy cause, because putting up a stage play is very expensive. Nii Commey is set to release his next play in the next couple of months and promises that it shall be another rib cracking in every sense of the word.
Sweet dreams and Nightmares was produced by Novelty Initiative, makers of Romantic Nonsense, Eclipse of The Heart, Je Mappelle Romance and Mummy’s Dimples and Pimples”, and powered by CFI Communication Limited.
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