National Theatre not built for musical concerts – Management


Deputy Executive Director of the National Theatre, Tawfic Prah, says that the edifice was not built for musical concerts.

The facility’s condition has come under scrutiny after patrons of the Becca @10 concert, who had to endure the heat in the auditorium during the show, took to social media to express their misgivings.

However, speaking to JoyNews’ MzGee on the state of the facility, Mr Prah revealed the National Theatre was built for performing arts and not musical concerts.

“We have AGM meetings, the AC works fine, we have like a musical concert, people have to be on their feet, dance, get all wet and stuff like that and then again we have like a situation whereby the organizers bring in lights and those lights are not LED, they generate much heat in the auditorium…
“So even with your air-conditioners, unless you have put all these things into consideration and bring extra air conditioners to accommodate the heat, I don’t think the air conditioners (in the auditorium) can,” he said.

When MzGee asked if his assertion meant the theatre was built for the purposes of drama and plays (Performing Arts), Mr Prah retorted that anything beyond performing arts will need extra measures.

“You can adjust and have it done. The theatre is for performing arts.

Musical concert theatre, sometimes we have a slight difference in terms of that. You come in to do musical concerts, we have some basic lights to guide you on the stage.”

According to Tawfic Prah, the National Theatre cleared its electricity debt earlier in the year and is doing all it can as an entity to save cost.

The Theatre, which was renovated about four years ago, was billed for another round of maintenance earlier in January. That did not happen because the Chinese who built the facility did not show up.

It is unknown to management when the facility will see a facelift. “Anytime we have any major renovation we want to undertake we inform them. We have the Chinese coming to help with some major renovations, the air condition was one.

“We were supposed to shut down the theatre in January. With the Chinese, it is country to country, you need to follow several procedures, write to them officially, and fill forms.

“It depends, they might come here in the next three months, go back, come back, you can’t tell,” he said.

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