Members of the national drama company, Abibigromma, are used to dealing with plays written long before their parents were born but over the last three weeks, they have been contending with a truly ancient play titled Oedipus Rex, a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles around 429 BC. It has all come about because the company is working with a guest theatre director from Germany called Matthias Gehrt and that is the play he has opted to direct for Abibigromma.
“I know the play very well. This is my fourth time of directing it. It is a pretty unusual work with a complex text but it is exciting and intelligently written. “ We are working hard at it and trust we would come up with a good product,” said Gehrt who first met Abibigromma when the group toured Germany in 2012. The public would be able to see Oedipus Rex as interpreted by Gehrt and Abibigromma, free of charge at 6.30pm on Tuesday, March 22, at a preview at Folks Place, National Theatre.
Gehrt is an experienced and well-travelled theatre director. Countries he has worked in apart from Germany include Nigeria, Mexico, England, Canada and Sri Lanka. Since Oedipus Rex is structured in a way that theatre fans here may find a bit unusual and tiring on their ears, Gehrt and his Ghanaian co-director, Mawuli Semevor, have decided to infuse elements familiar to Ghanaian audiences. “The European theatre culture is very much dialogue-based. We are trained to talk and analyse speeches and I have been doing that for over 30 years.
“ West African theatre, however, is strong on dance and music and singing. So we are going to have an exciting fusion of two different theatre cultures in one play. Everyone should come and see it,” Gehrt stated.