Reputable Ghanaian playwright Uncle Ebo Whyte has challenged theatre audience to hold him to the highest possible standard as he promises his upcoming play will raise the bar of the theatre and Ghana’s entertainment industry.
His new play, Puppeteers, seeks to open the eyes of good people in the Ghanaian society, particularly those in power at every level, on how some “crooks” ride on their integrity and good name to cause quite a lot of trouble.
The play will open with special events by Roverman Productions in collaboration with Airtel at the National Theatre in Accra on November 28 and 29 and be staged again on December 5 and 6 at 4pm and 8pm.
Speaking at a press briefing last Thursday, the theatre performance connoisseur, who has been writing and producing since 1975, said he and his team have put in a lot of efforts and expressed optimism the production would be worth writing home about.
“…We will be raising the bar for theatre and entertainment in Ghana. I am saying this before you come to watch because I want you to hold me to the highest possible standard. I want you to come expecting something higher and when I don’t deliver then please don’t be a puppeteer,” he said.
“I have said on air that it is the kind of play that within the first five minutes if we don’t shock you with what you are watching then you may have to go to the doctor to take a sample of your blood to check whether it is communion wine in your veins or it is proper blood. And it doesn’t get better from the first five minutes; the story gets deeper and much more complicated and from that period on,” he added.
Uncle Ebo continued: “This has been a very difficult story to write because of the subject matter. But also it was a story that took a long time to reveal itself. I think I struggled with this story for about three and half months to finally get it in the shape I needed it. Incidentally, the conclusion of the story was revealed to the cast only yesterday. So that should tell you how long and how difficult it has been. It has not been easy.
“Ghana is blessed with good people. Almost every one of our big men got into that position with very good wishes, goodwill and good intentions. But there is an aspect of power; not just at the political level but power at every level. There is an aspect of power in Ghana that we often don’t talk about either because it is too difficult to touch or too frightening to touch.
“And this is it: once you get into a position, that position suddenly attracts people who don’t subscribe to your values.
They don’t subscribe to your principles, but they see in your position an opportunity for them to do what they want to do. So let’s say you are appointed as Minister of State; that very appointment brings along many people who just suddenly surround you.
They have no intention of helping you become a better minister, but they see in your being a minister an opportunity for them to either take advantage of the system to rape Ghana or to better their own personal interest. So there are crooks in Ghana who ride on the integrity and the good name of good people and use it to cause quite a lot of trouble.
“And in Puppeteers we are exploring that phenomenon and we are seeking to open the eyes of good people to some of these tricks and some of these murky areas that power brings or attracts in the hope that every Ghanaian who gets elevated would ensure that his position does not become a highway for crooks to ride on to do what they want to do. That, in a nutshell, is Puppeteers.”