Lagos Theatre Festival 2019: The Mistress of Wholesome is wickedly delicious – Toni Kan

The first thing that hits you in Omoye Uzamere’s play, The Mistress of Wholesome, is the elaborate and intricately designed set which mimics the living room of an upscale home. The set was clearly the best at Lagos Theatre Festival 2019.

But beyond the aesthetics the play is a wickedly delicious take on marriage and its encumberances, on infidelity and its enablers as well as a wife’s place when a marriage makes the transition from a unioon between a duo to encompass a trio.

The play, directed by the mercurial Najite Dede, opens with a casually clad Moji Animashaun played by Michelle Dede who is busy ransacking the fridge and cupboards.

In walks the madam of the house, Tumini George nee Peterside played by Omoye Uzamere. She is surprised to see the intruder but not overly shocked because she is apparently aware of who she is even though she acts dumb.

Moji is here to ask a favour but first she wants to have a bite.

“Do you have some carrot cake?” she asks but Tumini is in no mood for niceties. She is expecting a guest and wants the uninvited guest gone.

Moji finally reveals to Tumini that she is her husband’s mistress. Tumini switches instantly to denial mode.

“My husband does not have a cheating bone in his body,” she says before adding “At least not many of them.”

Moji takes her time taunting her lover’s wife, telling her she had been Lakunle’s mistress for 11 years and feigning anger when Tumini is not impressed.

“That’s not a very nice thing to say to a woman who is sharing your husband.”

Finally she comes out with the real reason why she is there. Lakunle has fallen out of love with her. She thinks there is a 3rd woman and wants to join forces with Tumini to get Lakunle back to her bed.

Tumini is not impressed. She offers her N1,000 to buy data then asks her to leave.

Moji growing desperate pulls a gun on Tumini. She is not joking because she already has Lakunle tied up and locked in her boot.

That is when Moji’s guest, Nengak Josiah, played by Tope Tedela, arrives and the play descends into a comedy of errors with dramatic irony fueling the plot.

The guest is a social worker who mistakes Moji for Tumini’s sister and who goes ahead to make assumptions and arrive at very wrong conclusions. He sees them as a team, a notion they are quick to disavow.

When Nengak asks where her husband is Tumini answers with a loaded: “My husband is a bit tied up, Car trouble.”

The two women finally manage to get rid of him and then settle down to the most deliciously wicked part of the play.

Tired of bitching about a no-good man, they settle down to eat ice cream and then with a wink, Tumini asks her new friend whether she can find a place in the museum for a cheating husband.

They laugh as they finally become a team; a wicked tag team.

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