“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?”
The answer is in ‘The Only Jealousy of Emer’, a play by one of Ireland’s best known writers, Willam Butler Yeats. The play, by special demands, have been brought to Nigeria, showing in Abuja and Lagos on Thursday and Saturday respectively.
According to Sadi Adenuga, veteran Nigerian actor and pointsman of the production crew, Nigerian Carnival Ireland, “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.
He said “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 utilizes 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 his wife, Yemi Adenuga, whose appearance will be of great interest in their native Nigeria.
The play’s Director, Ray Yeates (a former Deputy Artistic Director of The Abbey Theatre) has directed many of Yeats’ plays in Ireland and the U.S. 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
The production is supported by Culture Ireland, Dublin City Council and Irish Embassy in Nigeria.
Adenuga also informed that the production will taken to BON Hotel in Abuja on Thursday, April 12 and it starts by 7pm while the Lagos show will be on Saturday, April 14 and will run from 4pm to 7pm.