Lola Shoneyin cleverly has mastered a capturing show illustrating a life of a well-respected wealthy man called Baba Segi, who resides in a town in Nigeria with his large family, “large” meaning his polygamous household which consisted of four wives, with four significant personalities leading to a very colourful atmosphere. Baba Segi played by Patrice Naiambana is the provider for the family in all ways possible or so he thought. The hierarchy begins with him and how he manages to maintain a harmonious family unit between all his wives while he is present however in his absence a different story.
As the play continues to leave the audience with several emotions from joy, guilt, sadness as well as a little resentment - it allows you to appreciate each of Baba Segi’s wives and their reasons for justifying their dark secrets
Director Femi Elufowoju Jr manages to entertain the audience throughout the play with classic musical drumbeats, and consistently traditional African vocal singing allowing the audience to feel the richness of the African connection wherever you are from. The play includes awareness of modern day westernised views of abortion and, healthcare to the relevance of seeking advice from ancestry Gods and teachers, to the practicing of voodoo for manipulation amongst the wives.
As the play continues to leave the audience with several emotions from joy, guilt, sadness as well as a little resentment - it allows you to appreciate each of Baba Segi’s wives and their reasons for justifying their dark secrets which in the end destroys the whole household.
Each of the artists that played Baba’s wives displayed sentiments that all females could relate to, jealousy, fear, hurt, domination and humbleness. Jumoke Fashola, who played the first wife, can be commended for her outstanding performance to play such a strong character sanctioning the audience at one point fearful of her conniving and jealous acts to laughter for her reactions to sympathy. Mary Dolapo Oni the fourth and final wife managed to exhibit her character, which allowed the viewers, to o understand her circumstances as the show unravels all the mysteries in her life and where it leads to in the end.
The show deserves fives Stars, for being such an emotional and jubilant production.
Info: The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives is at Arcola Theatre until 21 July 2018 | book tickets