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Death and the King’s Horseman graces Terra Arena for Eid el Kabir


A scene from the play

Wole Soyinka’s classic, Death and the King’s Horseman, will be on stage throughout the Eid el Kabir holiday from Friday, September 1 to Monday, September 4 at Terra Kulture Theatre Arena, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. Directed by Bisi Adigun, the presentation is produced by Arambe Productions, with support from management of Terra Kulture, owners of the theatre facility.

Described as Soyinka’s “best illustration of the ritual theatre paradigm” by the foremost theatre scholar, Joel Adedeji (2005), the Sallah holiday run of the play will feature a top-range cast and crew that includes Toyin Oshinaike, Tunji Sotiminrin, Bukky Ogunnote, Tunde Onikoyi, Wale Lampejo and others.

Based on a real life tragic event, the play is set in Oyo during the Second World War, when Nigeria was still a British colony. The king has died and as his horseman commences the traditional ritual that will ensure the smooth transition of the dead king to the world beyond, the British colonial officer intervenes. In consequence, the harmonious co-existence between the living, the dead and the unborn is under severe threat. Will the turn of events cause a disruption of a cosmic order of the universe? Will justice be served?

The answer will be provided at the Sallah holiday presentation, during which audiences will be entranced by the songs, music, chants, humour and the ‘totality’ of Soyinka’s dramaturgy, as well as his linguistic dexterity. The play had earlier been staged to wide acclaim in July at the University of Lagos to mark the 83rd birthday anniversary celebration of the author, Soyinka, the 1986 Nobel laureate for Literature.

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