The National Theater has come under serious criticism after event goers complained bitterly about the heat they experienced at the venue when they attended Becca @ 10 concert on October 21.
Many have called for the closure of the venue for renovation but officials of National Theater say that cannot happen now. The Deputy Executive Director for National Theater, Towfik Prah speaking in an interview with Zionfelix on Radio Univers explaining why the maintenance cannot happen any moment from now revealed that they have to inform Chinese government of any plan to renovate the place since they offered it as a gift to Ghana for them to support financially.
He added that the money they make from National Theater is not for only keeping the place alive. Mr. Prah revealed that more than half of their income is invested into the productions of their three resident groups – National Dance Company, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the National Theater Players.
Commenting on the air-condition problem which has generated the public backlash for them, Towfik disclosed that programs like Annual General Meetings (AGM) which bring together few people face no problem but ones with huge number of people like the Becca @ 10 concert generate heat which cannot be cooled by the air-conditions they have at the place. He admitted that the machines have problem because they have not changed them after they were fixed into the auditorium 25 years ago when National Theate was constructed.
The Deputy Executive Director for National Theater continued that they mostly plead with event organisers who hire the place to organise big events to support them with additional air-conditioners or fans to prevent heat at the auditorium, but they fail to heed to their call.
When Zionfelix, host of Brunch2Lunch entertainment show asked him why changing the air-conditioners has become a headache for National Theater, Towfik Prah answered “it’s a laudable idea to tell us to change the air-conditioners but the money to change them is about a million dollar. They are huge water-chilled machines but not the normal ones people see around. The type of air-conditioner we have can be found in about two big companies in the country. Most businesses and hotels have changed theirs because of the cost they come with.”
He further mentioned that National Theater is thinking of how to support the air-conditioners they have because they are planning of a major renovation which is expected to happen ending of 2018.
The National Theatre, opened in 1992 and located in the Victoriaborg district of Accra, Ghana, was built by the Chinese and offered as a gift to Ghana. The theatre is governed by the National Theatre Law 1991, PNDC Law 259.
It has a building area of 11,896 square metres (128,050 square feet), and is sited near the junction of the Independence Avenue and Liberia Road. The building has a complicated construction moulding and novel exterior features. When looked at from a distance, the whole structure looks like a gigantic ship or a seagull spreading its wings.
The building houses the three resident companies of the National Dance Company, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the National Theatre Players.