Nigerian theatre

Nigerian theatre

      variety of folk opera of the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria that emerged in the early 1940s. It combined a brilliant sense of mime, colourful costumes, and traditional drumming, music, and folklore. Directed toward a local audience, it uses Nigerian themes, ranging from modern-day satire to historical tragedy. Although the plays are performed entirely in the Yoruba language, they may be understood and appreciated by speakers of other languages with the aid of a translated synopsis.

      Nigerian theatre deals with three types of themes: the fantastic folktale, the farcical social satire, and the historical or mythological account derived from oral tradition. Generally speaking, both text and music evolved from a synthesis of liturgies from different religious sects.

      Although there are more than a dozen traveling theatre companies, three professional troupes are particularly notable: those of Hubert Ogunde (Ogunde, Hubert) (author of Yoruba Ronu [“Yorubas, Think!”] and Journey to Heaven); Kola Ogunmola (Ogunmola, Kola) (The Palmwine Drinkard and Love of Money); and Duro Ladipo (Ladipo, Duro) (Oba Koso [“The King Did Not Hang”] and Eda [“Everyman”]). Each of these troupes has created a distinctive style shaped by the tastes of its founder, who generally writes or adapts and produces the plays, arranges the music, and performs the leading roles.

      This contemporary dramatic form grew out of biblical episodes in Christmas and Passion plays presented by separatist African churches in the 1930s and '40s. Some of these plays have been performed abroad, notably, Oba Koso and The Palmwine Drinkard.

      In 1945 Ogunde was the first to establish a professional touring company. Some of his plays are satires on Yoruba types: the jealous husband, the stingy father, the reckless son. Others deal with topical events in Nigerian politics.

      In 1947 Ogunmola organized some of his pupils into an acting troupe, forming his own Theatre Party. Ogunmola's operas reveal a Christian influence in the use of biblical material for the basic plots. Ogunmola employs folklore by incorporating praise poetry, proverbs, and incantations into the dialogue, as evidenced in his celebrated production of Amos Tutuola's novel The Palm-Wine Drinkard.

      In the early 1960s Ladipo, a composer of church music who wished to preserve the traditional arts, wrote cultural plays based on historical material. While he was no doubt influenced by his predecessors, Ladipo employed ceremonial drumming, chanting, and singing as well as traditional costume appropriate to specific historical or religious groups represented in his productions. Some of Ladipo's actors had performed in religious rituals before joining the theatre company; thus, their ceremonial material was incorporated within a contemporary mold.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • theatre, African — ▪ art Introduction       an art, concerned almost exclusively with live performances in which the action is precisely planned to create a coherent and significant sense of drama, as it is presented in sub Saharan Africa.       The content and… …   Universalium

  • History of theatre — Performer playing Sugriva in the Koodiyattam form o …   Wikipedia

  • Horse and Bamboo Theatre — or Horse + Bamboo Theatre is a British theatre company founded in 1978 by the Artistic Director, Bob Frith. The company has a strong visual and music based identity rather than being text based, and uses distinctive full head masks. It works… …   Wikipedia

  • National Arts Theatre — The National Arts Theatre is the primary centre for the performing arts in Nigeria. The monument is located in Iganmu, Lagos State. Construction was completed in 1976 in preparation for the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977. Design… …   Wikipedia

  • Ogunde, Hubert — ▪ Nigerian playwright born 1916, Ososa, near Ijebu Ode, Nigeria died April 4, 1990, London, Eng.       Nigerian playwright, actor, theatre manager, and musician, who was a pioneer in the field of Nigerian folk opera (drama in which music and… …   Universalium

  • Ogunmola, Kola — ▪ Nigerian dramatist original name  Elijah Kolawole Ogunmola   born Nov. 11, 1925, Okemesi, Nigeria died 1973       Nigerian (Nigerian theatre) actor, mime, director, and playwright who took Yoruba folk opera (drama that combines Christian themes …   Universalium

  • Music of Nigeria — Music of Nigeria: Topics Hausa Igbo Yoruba Apala Fuji Jùjú Afrobeat Afro juju …   Wikipedia

  • Hubert Ogunde — (né le 31 mai 1916 à Ososa, mort le 4 avril 1990 à Londres[1]) est un dramaturge nigérian considéré comme le père du théâtre moderne au Nigeria. Hubert Ogunde, un inventeur missionnaire. Sommaire 1 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Нигерия — (Nigeria)         Федеративная Республика Нигерия (Federal Republic of Nigeria).          I. Общие сведения          Н. государство в Западной Африке, в бассейне нижнего течения р. Нигер. Входит в британское Содружество. Граничит на З. с Дагомеей …   Большая советская энциклопедия

  • Mbari Mbayo Club — ▪ African arts club       club established for African writers (African literature), artists, and musicians at Ibadan and Oshogbo in Nigeria. The first Mbari Club was founded in Ibadan in 1961 by a group of young writers with the help of Ulli… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”