An extra that did more than just waka pass in “Mamma Mia.. the Musical” -Peju Akande
Whenever I go to the movie with my partner, we always wait to watch the credits even when everyone in the audience gets up as soon as they see it’s the end of the film.
Being in the communications sector, we are aware there’s a lot to movies, shows, commercials… than the main characters that make it blaze.
There are stunts men, extras, even screen writers/or play writers…there is a lot more that makes a show than the characters we see.
Someone stood out for me at Mamma Mia..The Musical, Lagos edition.
Mamma Mia…The Musical was staged in Lagos at the once prestigious Muson centre between the 25th of December 2021 and January 3rd, 2022.
The highly entertaining stage drama was produced by Ireti Bakare-Yusuf of Jarin Seriki Productions and directed by Najite Dede.
Jarin Seriki got the licence in 2021 for the adaptation of the original musical created in 1998 by British theatre producer Judith Cramer, who engaged British playwright Catherine Johnson, to write a story woven around the multiple hit songs of Swedish pop group ABBA, composed by Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson.
Simply put, it’s the story of a single mother who’s 21 year old daughter is about to get married. Unknown to her, her daughter had invited three men who were likely to be her father to the wedding. They all showed up and the consequences thereof is what makes the drama a must watch whenever it comes to town again.
Among the stellar cast that featured veteran Jide Kosoko, who acted as Father Alexandrias and Chioma Odimba as Donna, who is the star of the musical. She is the woman who has no idea who the father of her daughter is among the three men that showed up in her home.
Donna’s acting is on point, her strong vocal chords tingled more than a few ears the whole evening. I watched her and her acting is simply mesmerizing. While you may want to blame her as a loose woman, the way she rendered the songs like a pro, to tell her side of the story, erases all blames.
But Donna aside, her daughter aside and the crazy friends aside and even her three ex-lovers aside, one individual, one actor, who incidentally had no speaking part throughout the show is a young man, who wasn’t even given a name nor referred to in the drama, he it was that stood out for me.
He was clearly an extra, what we call “waka pass” in Nigerian lingo. But he was one “waka pass” who walked the extra mile to give an already superb show something else for its audience to talk about.
Like earlier noted, he had no name, he just had a big head of shiny hair with pink rose stuck on the side. His strutting stood him out, his gestures stood him out, everything he did along with the other extras stood him out so much your eyes lingered on him longer than the rest of the cast.
For me, it was the pure joy on his face as he pantomimed on stage making the audience wonder, will he be given speaking parts?
Is he the ex-boyfriend?
Will he have something to say because all of the extra acting he is putting out there must mean he has a speaking role. This can only be the reason the eye of the audience rests more on him than the other extras.
When do extras do more than they are meant to, especially as no one would even notice them?
You would notice him, however.
His megawatts smile outshone the lighting on the stage; his dance steps were rendered like he was the sole character on stage. He waltzed about the stage, thrilled to be able to show his dance skills even though he had absolutely nothing to say…that is the stuff of thespians, I think.
At the end of the show, I wanted to tell him I enjoyed watching him. To tell him that, of all the characters that totally killed it on stage, he stood out for me.
He was gracious, happy to have contributed in his own way, a dollop of joy into the proceedings.
And I got to know his name, he is Oscar Chihurumnanya Adiele.