Review of Osita Okagbue (2007) 'African Theatres and Performances'

Victor Ukaegbu

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


This is a review of Osita Okagbue's brilliantly researched book for Routledge’s Theatres of the World series, a framework for exploring selected theatre and performance traditions from various cultures of the world. The book uses examples from different regions in West Africa and offer readers an exciting excursion into the aesthetics, production, and reception of indigenous African performance forms, why they continue to challenge their primary audiences and readers, and their capacities to evolve new interpretations. The book is based on four performance forms: the Mmonwu and Bori of Igbo and Hausa societies of Nigeria respectively, Jaliya; the musical oral tradition of the Mandinka griots and griottes of Senegal and the entire Sene-Gambia basin that stretches as far as to Ghana in the east and Guinea-Bissau in the north-west, and lastly, the Koteba; the comedy and satire of the Bamana people of Mali known for its combination of effusive humor and loquacious banter. Each of the four forms or case studies is located within a socio-cultural milieu in which they have not only overcome historical upheavals but out of which they have continued to evolve in new directions and spawn internal aesthetic variations without losing their relevance and popularity
Original languageEnglish
JournalAfrican Performance Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


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