Nigerian Carnival Ireland is set to bring to the stage The Only Jealousy of Emer by W. B. Yeats. To take place in Abuja and Lagos, the organisation that supports the cultural integration of Nigerians in Ireland through showcasing Nigerian Culture, is producing the work of one of Ireland’s best-known writers, William Butler Yeats.
A statement from the organisation said it is part of the Cuchulain Cycle of five plays written by Yeats about the life and death of the mythic Irish hero Cuchulain.
“The Only Jealousy of Emer continues Yeats’ experiments with the Japanese Noh as a way of bringing onto the stage demons, ghosts and supernatural events as part of the natural world,” said the statement.
In the play, Cuchulain has killed his son and in grief attempts to fight the sea. Half drowned; he lies in a state between life and death with his wife Emer and his mistress Eithne watching over him. But is he dead or is something far more sinister about to occur as these two women struggle to revive him?
Yeats approach to mythology, ritual and the supernatural resonates strongly with African culture and the exciting part of staging his plays with a Nigerian cast is that their work as actors naturally utilises their approach to rhythm, movement, song and verse.
The production features two well-known Nigerian actors who have lived in Dublin for many years, Deji and Yemi Adenuga, whose appearance will be of great interest in their native Nigeria. The plays Director Ray Yeates (a former Deputy Artistic Director of The Abbey Theatre) has directed many of Yeats’ plays in Ireland and the USA and recently directed this play at Torn Page in New York. In this production, Nigerian and Irish culture combine to create a unique experience.
The Only Jealousy of Emer stars Yemi Adenuga, Deji Adenuga, Oluwayomi Ogunyemi, Penelope Aniuzu and Deola Gimbiya.
Produced by Melissa Nolan, the production is supported by Culture Ireland, Dublin City Council and the Irish Embassy in Nigeria.
It is to take place on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at BON Hotel, Abuja by 7pm and on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at Freedom Park, Lagos at 4pm and 7pm.