By Oladapo Udom
Lagos – The management of the National Theatre (NT) complex in Iganmu, Lagos State, has assured artistes planning to use its facilities for shows of pocket-friendly fees to encourage the promotion of entertainment and culture.
The General Manager (GM) of the theatre, Dr Stella Oyedepo, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The GM spoke alongside some of the management staff of the NT.
She said that the complex was a place where the public alongside their families and friends could relax because of the various forms of entertainment it could provide.
“We have at our hearts the interests of artistes who intend to use the National Theatre’s facilities to organise shows.
“That is why we have been putting in place measures that will ensure their optimal profits.
“For instance, we do not charge artistes for the use of our halls rather; we only take part of what was realised from the gate fees as charges.
“Our artistes are part of the stakeholders of the National Theatre.
“Therefore, they need to be encouraged in other to fulfill the mandate of the NT which is to promote cultural events in the society,” she said.
Oyedepo also said that the management of the NT had begun the rehabilitation of the theatre’s transit camp.
She said that the camp would serve as hostel accommodations for artistes who come from outside Lagos for shows at the national theatre.
Oyedepo said that such artistes would be expected to reside in those hostels within the camps during their shows.
“This will reduce the cost of accommodation on the part of the artistes but bring them closer to their revelers.
“We are making efforts to revitalise the NT complex so that it can bring to attract the human and vehicular traffics it is noted for.
“The management of the NT will be partnering other stakeholders to restore the complex to its former pride of place in the entertainment industry in the country,’’ she said.
Oyedepo said that past negative reports about the complex had created negative images in the minds of revelers which led to a dearth of activities.
“However, we are working to correct all such negative notions in the minds of people by ensuring that our facilities are in perfect condition.
“We have continued to upgrade the facilities within the complex; the lightings are functioning well, the toilets are clean and the water system is working perfectly well.
“So, the vibrancy that the complex was noted for in the past has been fully restored by the current management for the optimal use by the public,” she said.
Also, the Director of Marketing at the National Theatre complex, Mr Abiodun Femi Joel, said that the rental fees the management was charging had remained relatively low when compared to what others were charging.
Joel said that this was despite the numerous renovations that had been carried out within the complex.
“As a matter of national policies and to encourage artistes, we charge 50 percent of our rate as long as it is a stage production or charitable-based performance,” Joel said.