Art Review: Nick Monu brings Nigerian adaptation to Orwell’s “Animal Farm”

Channels Television  
Updated February 20, 2012

Nigerian director and veteran actor Nicholas Monu has brought a unique African twist to the internationally acclaimed play Animal Farm, based on the 18th century British novel written by George Orwell.

The British-trained playwright and director, who moved to the Lagos in 2008 when he directed Wole Soyinka’s “Swamp Dwellers”, has now taken on the dark, twisted tale of power and corruption and brings it to life on the stages of the Terra Kulture in Lagos.

The play, which premiered on 12 February and is expected to run until 26 February, was adapted for the Nigerian stage.

George Orwell had written the original manuscript between 1943 and 1944, following his experiences of the Spanish Civil War. He later explained that the communist purges in Spain had taught him “how easily totalitarian propaganda can control the opinion of enlightened people in democratic countries.”

Orwell had been moved to expose and strongly condemn what he saw as the Stalinist corruption of the original socialist ideals. In the same vein, Monu’s adaptation of the classic, exposed and condemned corruption in the Nigerian government, using the animals on the farm to make his point.