Review of ‘Amale’ A dramatic poetry show by Village Minds Productions

‘Amale’ is a dramatic poetry show that fuses music, dance, theatre, poetry and spoken word.

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Amale play

Amale

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The first time I heard about Village Minds Productions was in November 2016 – when they had left anyone who watched the play ‘The Love of Mamavi’ completely stupefied.

The impact of the play was telling, as those who had the chance to watch kept on eulogizing the cast.

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As a lover of stage-plays, I felt I had missed out big time. ‘Never again!’ I told myself.

And so when I had the chance to watch first-hand the dramatic poetry show ‘Amale’, I didn’t waste much time to get myself to the Alliance Francaise for such an experience.

Now, to the Review.

Amale play

Amale

 

‘Amale’ is a dramatic blend of music, dance, theatre, poetry and spoken word. The word ‘Amale’ is a Ga dialect which translates as ‘Lies’.

As the title suggests, Amale seeks to explore some of the hidden things that humans do, as well as the hypocritical lives which many people live. Written by Nii Ayi Solomon and directed by WK Dziewornu-Norvor, ‘Amale’ is a dramatic poetry show that weaves fiction into true life stories.

I must confess that upon reaching the Amphitheater of the Alliance Francaise, I thought the show would be a flop. Why? Because the clouds looked gloomy, with thunder striking here and there. It just looked like a heavy downpour was imminent.

The fear of the rains pouring down obviously affected attendance. Mind you, the show was supposed to start at 7pm prompt. However, as at 7:30 it was still yet to kickstart.

But eventually when it did, it was in spectacular fashion.

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The event was opened with a brilliant performance from saxophonist Dela Jackson – ably assisted by Obuobi Ashong on the guitar – as audience were treated to an electric music-filled introduction.

Amale play

Amale

 

A poem titled ‘Nana Ama’ was also performed by Mr. Fadi to usher the audience into the real show.

The first scene of the play ‘Amale’ tells the story of a man named Koku Tawiah Tenge who lived like a saint before the eyes of his family and the entire village but was a snake in real life.

With so many wives, concubines and family members left behind after his death, Koku Tawiah’s funeral had everything: drama, suspense and rib-cracking theatrics.

Predictably, no one at the funeral gathered the courage to spill out his bad deeds, as it was all praises. Ever seen a funeral where the Ebusuapayin takes selfies with the dead body? Well, only in the play ‘Amale’.

And if you have never seen a corpse read his own autobiography at his funeral, then you should have seen the play 'Amale'.

There is also the scene where five elders of the village thrill audience with deft poetry lines and spoken word. The likes of Koo Kumi, Nene Tetteh Adusu among others, all delivered heart-touching poems that left the audience clapping throughout.

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Amale play

Amale

 

As a night dedicated to the celebration of poetry and spoken word, past legends in the field like Attukwei Okai, Kofi Anyidoho, Kwesi Brew, Kofi Awoonor and Fiifi Abaidoo were given notable mentions as their poems were recited by the cast. It was a befitting tribute to the men – although dead and gone – who built the foundations of poetry in Ghana.

Then there is this mysterious medicine man whose claims his medicine can cure 52 diseases. Yes 52 diseases! And the manner in which he goes about trying to persuade customers to patronize the medicine just makes the whole scene interesting. From refusing to sell on credit, to demonstrating how the medicine can work all sorts of miracles on the body; he just erupted the whole atmosphere. I tell you, the level of hilarity in this scene cannot be underrated.

There is also the scene which captures five beautiful ladies who call themselves ‘The women on rampage’. As each lady passionately laments how unfair society has been to her, the audience are opened to some harsh realities that women face.                                                         

Have you also ever wondered why people get married? Is it for money, fame or for love? The play ‘Amale’ explores the deceit and false truths of marriage life.

It was a real good show put up by Village Minds Productions, but it wasn’t without some inconsistencies.  The delay in the start of the programme was a real source of worry, as it led to a late closure. Instead of starting at 7pm prompt as scheduled, it took off at almost 8pm.

Amale play

Amale

 

Again, even though the whole play was meant to celebrate poetry and spoken word, the drama bit was far more relegated. I expected to see some more scenes of drama than I actually saw on the night.

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Then I also felt the link between all the various scenes was just not there. Each scene looked like a totally new stage-play was on display. It was a play where if you missed one scene, it would have been difficult to follow or even understand the rest.

Aside the aforementioned points noted, ‘Amale’ was a well crafted stage-play. I was particularly impressed with the costumes of the cast. Each actor and actress dressed to follow the storyline.  Organization was also great, with stage lighting and music all on point.

All in all, it was a great show put up by Village Minds Productions, and I will entreat everyone not to miss their next stage-play. As for ‘Amale’ it is one all audience present at the Amphitheatre of the Alliance Francaise will not forget anytime soon.

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