African Theatre 9: Histories 1850-1950

African Theatre 9: Histories 1850-1950

Edited by Martin Banham, James Gibbs, Femi Osofisan


James Currey



What kinds of documentation of performances exist - both of colonial and indigenous theatre and how may this range of documentation have affected how we read theatre history?
African performers, dramatists and directors have far out-paced chroniclers, critics and librarians, and as a result, those preparing accounts of theatre movements and performance on the continent have very limited resources to work on. African Theatre 9 addresses the topic of theatre history and, more specifically, looks at a selection of theatrical movements and events between 1850 and 1950.
Drawing on such archived resources as are available, this volume seeks to recover moments from the past by bringing together papers that explore the complexity of the relationships that characterised a century of contact, conflict, compromise and creativity. The findings provide essential background to understanding contemporary developments in African theatre, and draw attention to the importance of documenting performances.


Series Editors: Martin Banham, Emeritus Professor of Drama & Theatre Studies, University of Leeds; James Gibbs, Senior Visiting Research Fellow, University of the West of England; Femi Osofisan, Professor of Drama at the University of Ibadan; Jane Plastow, Professor of African Theatre, University of Leeds; Yvette Hutchison, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre & Performance Studies, University of Warwick

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November 2010
10 black and white illustrations
199 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
African Theatre
ISBN: 9781847010148
Format: Paperback
James Currey
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Table of Contents

Introduction - Yvette Hutchison
Looking for 'Eritrea's past property' (1947): archives & memories in Eritrean theatre historiography - Christine Matzke
Seeking the Founding Father: the story of Kobina Sekyi's The Blinkards (1916) - James Gibbs
Medieval morality & liturgical drama in colonial Rhodesia: early Christian martyrs dramatized - Owen Seda
Contesting constructions of cultural production in & through urban theatre in Rhodesia, c.1890-1950 - Samuel Ravengai
'Don't talk into my talk': oral narratives, cultural identity & popular performance in colonial Uganda - Sam Kasule
The leaf & the soap: a story of appropriation & resistance - Cristina Boscolo
The representation of Khoisan characters in early Dutch-Afrikaans dramas in South Africa - Marisa Keuris
Images of Africa in early twentieth-century British theatre - Steve Nicholson
The First African Play: Tekle Hawariat's Fabula: Yawreoch Commedia & its influence on the development of Ethiopian theatre - Jane Plastow
Playscript: Tekle Hawariat's Fabula: Yawreoch Commedia (The Comedy of Animals) translated from the Amharic by Belayneh Abuneh
Book Reviews


A most welcome addition to the African Theatre series as it updates and significantly expands on the scant literature that currently exists on the subject of African theatre history. AFRICA

This collection is a success, especially in its ability to bring to attention dramatic materials that were hitherto unknown to the public. It will appeal to a wide spectrum of academics and practitioners including statements, teachers, and researchers of African theatre. AFRICAN RESEARCH & DOCUMENTATION

This collection abounds in insight, presents new information, and articulates original ideas, thus succeeding in opening up fresh perspectives on the early history of theatre in Africa. MATUTU

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