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The Lagos Fringe Festival is a unique and open-access arts festival that gathers and showcases a diverse range of artistic work. The objective is to foster a healthy environment for the arts and to enhance the skills of budding creatives. This year, the festival opened with a writing workshop for film and theatre writers at Alliance Francaise (Mike Adenuga Centre). There were also seven film screenings (a dream for film lovers) and a visual arts program. The festival began yesterday, on the 19th of November 2019, and will run until Sunday the 24th.

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This year marks the second edition of Lagos Fringe, and the organisers expect to cater to at least 2000 visitors from across Africa and the world. Lagos Fringe 2019 will feature work from artists based in Nigeria, Senegal, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Ghana, Portugal, South Africa, and more. Some of the most original and exciting features to look forward to are a Reggae Night on the 21st, an Alté Music Concert on the 22nd, and the screening of August Meeting (a film that attempts to recreate events from the famous Aba Women’s Revolt) on the 24th. Lagos Fringe is designed to cater to as many cultural and artistic tastes as possible. To find your piece of Lagos Fringe 2019, visit the website and look through the Fringe Schedule.

Each program has been assigned to one of two locations: Alliance Francaise (Mike Adenuga Centre) and Freedom Park. Both venues are in Ikoyi and Lagos Island respectively. Young and upcoming artists who can sing, dance, or act will be celebrated in the Lagos Fringe Centre Stage talent competition. Participants are eligible to win a 200,000 naira cash prize. Deadline for entries into this competition close today, the 20th of November 2019 and the rules are available on the Lagos Fringe website.

According to The Guardian, the festival will also feature an event where awards of merit will be presented to three personalities who have distinguished themselves in different fields of the Nigerian arts. These three personalities were recommended by the Lagos Fringe advisory board, they include Adebayo Adisa Oduneye, one of the most significant theatre directors in Nigeria and Africa; Ajai-Lycett, the “Dame of the Nigerian Stage and Screen”; and Kelani, a cinematographer, filmmaker and culture advocate.

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The artistic Director of Lagos Fringe is Mr. Kenneth Uphopho, a man who has already contributed significantly to Nigerian culture as a founding member of the Guild of Theatre Directors. Mr. Kenneth Uphopho had this to say about Lagos Fringe:

“Since last year, participants and show producers at Lagos Fringe Festival have consistently brought together a wide variety of eye-catching plays and bold new works that remove barriers between actor and audience, creatively using space and intimate storytelling to intensify the audience’s experience. The events are always presented in repurposed spaces and not necessarily focused on the conventional. Lagos Fringe Festival productions are timely and relevant, whether free or ticketed, inspiring a sense of community/ownership, engaging conversation, and prompting audiences to reflect on the stories long after they have left the venues.”

The Lagos Fringe Festival is organised in partnership with Multichoice Nigeria, British Council Nigeria, Freedom Park and the Alliance Francaise.


Lagos Fringe Festival

The Sun NG

All Africa

The Guardian NG

Featured Image Source: The Lagos Fringe

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This article was first published on 20th November 2019 and updated on November 21st, 2019 at 10:57 pm


Tochi Onwubiko is a 'Jack' of many trades. A designer, book editor, lawyer and happy freelance writer. She enjoys drinking tea, sitting in quiet spaces, and reading thick books. She hopes to publish books one day. She also loves a good house party. If you know about any good books or parties, leave a comment on one of her posts.

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