London: Death and the King’s Horseman

I’m in London for the weekend, to wander around the city and to see Wole Soyinka’s play, Death and The King’s Horseman, showing all through May (till June) at the Royal National Theatre (Olivier Hall). It was my first time at the Theatre, and on my way I saw the South Bank Center which I have always read about before now.

I saw the Soyinka play yesterday (Saturday) evening. It is a powerful, poetic, tragicomic piece of drama, exploring colonialism (& The late Great Empire), racial prejudice, feminism, religion, myth, and shame. It is laden (but not overburdened) with time-bombs artfully placed to explode assumptions, misconceptions and nonchallance regarding the collision of Africa and Europe. It wears its Yorubaness very proudly and comfortably (even if many of the accents in yesterday’s show did injustice to the language).

Soyinka shifts us between laughter and contemplation for most of the play, and then moves us to tears at the end.

Tonight I was reminded why the world thinks the man is a Genius. A Genius with a Sense of Humour.

PS> I’m trying to do a more detailed review of the piece. I might post it here later.


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