by Abidemi Dairo
Title: Castle in the Air
Producer: Bikiya Graham-Douglas
Run time: 90 minutes (+/-)
When I think of stage plays, what comes to mind are the 15 minutes drab attempts I have to endure in church every once in a while. If there were any enjoyable stints, I’d have to go as far back as primary school. So forgive me if, like many others, I had given up on stage plays. What I have missed!
Castle in the Air is plotted around how too much emphasis and energy is placed on inconsequential norms in our society so much that individuals who dare to seek a break from these norms, more often than not, become the blackest of sheep. An almost clichéd plot it is, but the execution was top notch.
Most characters, although coming across as abstracts, are well defined with strong mannerisms that are fully characterised. With catch phrases flying from two of the lesser focused characters, it is almost hard to imagine some other actor fitting into their roles. Well, on most counts.
The attempt to create a comic diversion with the now clichéd ‘naïve houseboy’ character, for instance, was flat. Yes, he had a couple of standout moments but on most count, Santana – the houseboy, appeared campy so much that you will eventually laugh out loud in embarrassment. The comedy part should have been left to ‘Chief’ and ‘Alhaji’, who notwithstanding their seriousness, got more giggles and laughs from the audience effortlessly.
Although you can point out one or two dragged moments and conversations, ‘Castle in Air’ impressively tells an abstract story in a manner that induces suspense, commands concentration, and tickles your funny bones. Y!