Femi Branch shines in Shalanga

Apr 7, 2024

“Shalanga: A Comedy” by Femi Branch at Terra Kulture offers an evening of comedy and it especially showcases Branch’s talents as both playwright and performer. Branch’s character in Shalanga is lovable, yet hapless, speaking on sober issues, yet light hearted, complex yet simple. His portrayal of the character is endearing, yet it is not all play, beneath the jovial, one can sense the deftness of the acting buoyed by impeccable comic timing.

The Terra Kulture arena serves as the perfect backdrop for Shalanga, immersing audiences in the energy of Lagos, adding extra layers to the performance and enhancing the production. Of course, it is possible that Branch’s star power as a Nollywood actor further enriches the experience, but it’s not just him who shines in this comedy; the entire ensemble delivers, each actor breathing life into their roles with infectious energy - from the sharp-tongued sidekick to the eccentric family members.

Shalanga like most Nigerian stage plays, focuses on the macro, the big topical issues facing the Nigerian society, the ones discussed in the bus on the commute to work, the ones tabled at beer parlours alongside beer and pepper soup. Yet it does not bore you, because it handles this issues with delicateness. It somehow does not stray into the preachiness and heavy-handedness one has come to expect. No soapbox. Instead, it allows room for the audience to reflect on the complexities of politics, corruption, family dynamics, and cultural norms while laughing till they get a stitch in their side.

With its humour, three dimensional characters, and insightful commentary, Shalanga promises and delivers a good experience for theatregoers of all stripes. Whether you’re a fan of Femi Branch or simply seeking a good laugh, this production is sure to leave you grinning from ear to ear.