At this delicate point in Nigeria’s economic narrative, a message of hope is the last thing realists and pessimists will want to entertain. At least, we have been chanting ‘e go better’ for decades since the economic realities of our leaders’ looting began biting the common man.
The Nigeria-to-Dollar exchange rate is tear-inducing while, despite the talk of change, terrorism, corruption, and human rights violation still hold the country in their deathly grips.
You can be excused for convincing yourself that there is little to be hopeful for.
On the stage, however, there’s hope. Hope in the message of Heartbeat The Musical, produced by Nollywood legends, Joke Silva and Olu Jacobs and directed by Najite Dede.
Through what will be reminded for some time to come as a beautiful artistic piece, Heartbeat passes its message through music, dance, and drama – total theatre.
As you leave the MUSON Centre, no matter how much of a pessimist you are, the goodness of the final song stays with you so much that you even start to believe that indeed, there’s a chance that ‘E go better.’
This musical takes the audience along on a journey through the characters’ relationships, challenges, victories, and defeats, keeping you close enough to feel their heartbeats. It’s a satire that deals you just the right amount of sarcasm, comedy and tragedy enough for you to realize that the Nigerian story is actually an interesting., one regardless of the level of your optimism.
Crooked politician JD Dacosta portrayed wonderfully by Femi Jacobs is a painful reminder of the rogues we have continued to leave in positions of power. He would make whatever promise was necessary to get him the power and money he so richly craves. And despite the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed‘s denials while making his remark, JD Dacosta is a metaphor of the current federal government of Nigeria. One which rode to power on the promise of change but has so far let the people down in more ways than were previously imagined.
Set in present day Lagos, Heartbeat is a romantic musical. A shelter, Grace House unites a reformed rebel leader, an optimistic photographer and a young man in search of his parents. They are brought face-to-face with their fates – by choice or by circumstance – leading them on a journey of hope, love, and faith. Heartbeat is based on the original script written by Tosin Otudeko.
By all standards, this is a beautiful production. The elements – music design, set and lights design, acting, costume and makeup design – combine to make this an experience to remember for the audience. The orchestra serves up a rich blend of songs from Afrobeat to a salsa-like rhythm. One for lovers of good music.
Amazing acting performances all around from Offiong Edet Anthony (Kachi), Oluchi Odii (Arinola) and Ralph Okora (File) amongst others ensure that you will struggle to find where Heartbeat is deficient. Ralph and Okora’s chemistry in moments they share together under the spotlight is one of the most convincing bits in the musical.
“We will help you find your voice,” was the promise made by one of Grace House-keepers to the lost and emotionally scarred girl. Heartbeat has fulfilled that promise. It has helped the young men and women in the production find their voices. Voices the producers hope will get loud enough to chase those pillagers of our commonwealth away from Abuja for ever.