Imagine a play that takes place entirely at the back of a tenement house, right beside the bathroom and lavatory.
Imagine three young men and two women playing “word tag” in the morning while responsible and gainfully employed people are headed to work.
This is the world conjured up in Tiata Tori’s production Cream Bodi a rollicking comedy and thrillfest delivering a laugh per second, courtesy Kininso Koncepts production.
Meet Naked Wire (Joy Nmezi) the Benin woman who may or may not be a prostitute; shield your ears from the verbal missiles fired by HR (Nnamdi Agbo) an educated never-do-well from Igboland who counts Albert Einstein and Elon Musk as mentor and friend.
Shield yourself from the spiritual arrows fired by SpiriKoko (Aniefiok Inyang) and Rub n Shine (Julius Obende), a fervent Christian from Calabar and a rabid Ogun worshipper respectively.
Then let your mind wander as you regard FK (Princess Obuseh), who says she is Japanese American but might actually be a Nigerian of Yoruba and Hausa parentage who peppers all her words with “R” while hoping to ensnare a man with her kayamata soap.
As these five characters step into the back yard of their tenement house, the words begin to flow like a ceaseless stream but in the multitude of words lies not just sins but bitter truths.
Is FK a hapless runs girl whose “kayamata always attracts broke guys” as Naked wire says. Is SpiriKoko despite his piousness and talk of glory a closet “pervert and peodophile?”
Is HR a broke ass always going for a figmental interview and is RubnShine a dead beat dad and husband with three ex wives?
This is a play that opens closets without minding what tumbles out. The characters are not what they seem and their dissembling helps not just to advance the plot but succeeds in laying bare Nigeria’s fault lines while perpetuating stereotypes.
Nothing is sacred as every subject, topical or not, from Covid-19 and it’s variants, to Big Brother Naija and Bosbrisky is canon fodder. The jokes travel abroad to rein in Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis as well as Beyonce.
They say comedy, by making us laugh, helps us consider unpalatable truths we would rather not engage with. Cream Bodi does this with aplomb and kudos must be given to Joshua Alabi, the director and ex member of Segun Adefila’s Crown Troupe Africa.
(Cream Bodi runs every Saturday and Sunday till the New year at 19 Sanyaolu street, Oregun.)