Drama

image Having Doves for Supper

By Ekemini Pius


  • Title: No More the Taming Hawks
  • Author: ’Diran Ademiju-Bepo
  • Publisher: Dynasty Gold Impact Books
  • Number of pages: 79
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Drama

’Diran Ademiju-Bepo’s play, No More the Taming Hawks, serves as a timely reminder that drama is not dead, and that prose and poetry have not entirely overrun the Nigerian literary scene. The play itself was longlisted for the 2018 NLNG Prize for Literature and is the final book in a trilogy; the first book, Rhythm of the Wind, was presented at the Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Festival in 1990. More…

image The Land of the Upright Man: A Review of Jude Idada’s Sankara

By Timi Odueso


  • Title: Sankara
  • Author: Jude Idada
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 114
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Drama

‘There is no guarantee that those who have children would be remembered. What matters is that while you lived, you lived for something, and while you could, you helped to make a change’.

Although acted out daily, both on stage and in real life, drama can be seen as the least indulged of the literary forms. Unlike prose, it falls within stringent parameters, such as in its use of dialogue and characterisation. To captivate the reader, drama requires of the playwright not only skill but experience. Jude Idada’s Sankara earns its place alongside works by leading Nigerian playwrights like Femi Osofisan, Wole Soyinka and J P Clark, but it also raises the question of just how far fiction can be woven into the factional. More…

image When a King Dies

By Victor Udochi Iwueze-Elias


  • Title: Obito
  • Author: Sam Omatseye
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 100
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Drama

In his drama, Obito, Sam Omatseye recreates the past while commenting on the present and the corruption and hypocrisy in Nigeria through deftly applied satire. In the African sensibility, the cycle of life comprises three distinct planes: the dead, the living and the unborn, which together form the wheel around which life revolves. The play hinges on the death of a king and the lengths people within the corridors of power will go to distort the truth. The play examines the role of the media in erecting smokescreens of falsehood and the ways in which a sometimes unsuspecting populace is held captive. In such circumstances – as the late Dora Akunyili once observed, in the absence of concrete facts concerning the health of the then Nigerian president, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua – rumours are bound to take over. More…

image Garden Weights as Political, Social and Spiritual Realism

By Ofuonyeadi Chukwudumebi Mercy


  • Title: Garden Weights: An Original Stage Play
  • Author: Andrew Busingye
  • Publisher: KHAMEL Publishing
  • Number of pages: 104
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Drama

Most works of literature are clearly products of the writer’s immediate environment or society. This is because most writers base their works on societal happenings and use their works as a form of constructive criticism of society at large. Literature has also been a powerful tool for depicting societal norms and values. Some writers like Wole Soyinka, J P Clark, Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Micere Mugo and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie have been able to use their works to promote African culture beyond the boundaries of Africa. More…

image The King’s Wages: The Semiotics of Trust in a Matrilineal Society

By Emeka Ugwu


  • Title: The King’s Wages
  • Author: Augustine Brempong
  • Publisher: Langaa RPCIG
  • Number of pages: 140
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Drama

‘Literature is, for us, in fact, a social discourse, (because it) is in varying degrees, defined and controlled by the social institutions within which it is embedded’. – A L Oyeleye

‘Trust, by which I mean confidence that others will do the “right” thing despite a clear balance of incentives to the contrary, emerges, if it does, in the context of a social network’. – Mark Gravonetter

Impelled in part by his ‘own struggle to make sense of the persistent and apparently insoluble political and economic problem’ that Italy faced over the century after it became a politically united nation, the social scientist, Diego Gambetta, talks about ‘a series of seminars – held in King’s College, Cambridge – to discuss the elusive nature of trust’. These seminars, involving scholars from the various social sciences, were held between 1985 and 1986. More…

image Melancholia and the Nigerian State

By Emeka Ugwu


  • Title: Melancholia
  • Author: Dul Johnson
  • Publisher: Sevhage Publishers
  • Number of pages: 73
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Drama

‘The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership’. – Chinua Achebe

Melancholia is a play written by the Nigerian playwright Dul Johnson, who has been writing radio and television plays since the ‘80s, although at times under the pen name Jim Rogers. He is also a scholar who has held teaching positions at the University of Jos as well as National Film Institute, Jos. In a play that plumbs the depths of satire, the playwright tackles head-on the political scene in Nigeria, pre- and post-election, dramatising it in two acts with four and five scenes respectively. It is a play festooned with the physiological ideas of the ancients in such striking manner, the sort that most distinctively disentangles ‘the doctrine of the four temperaments’. More…

image The Play with a Dual Mandate

By Emeka Ugwu


  • Title: Silencing the Songbird
  • Author: Bouchaib El Idrissi
  • Publisher: Editions Ennawrass
  • Number of pages: 133
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Drama

 

‘Marrakesh is a hummingbird standing still in the sun/ A thesis in motion, stilling tongues and dialects./ I have watched as her streets dissolved in fun/ At night, a Möbius rendering of joy’s analects’. – The Sahara Testaments, Tade Ipadeola

‘Bad playwrights in every epoch fail to understand the enormous efficacy of the transformations that take place before the spectators’ eyes. Theatre is change and not simple presentation of what exists; it is becoming and not being’. – Theatre of the Oppressed, Augusto Boal

Silencing the Songbird is the playwright Bouchaib El Idrissi’s artistic response to a popular myth that was created around the real life of a very popular singer, Huidda Al Ghiata, who also went by the moniker Kharboucha. More…