Nigerian dramatist Femi Òsófisán employs Greek and Shakespearean theatrical aesthetics mixed with Yorùbá performance aesthetics as framework to interrogate the use of myth in African performance cultures, specifically myths that originate from Yorùbá culture, and to investigate the interaction with elements from other cultures in defining class perspectives and social realism in African theatre. Not only that, he adapts plays from these cultures from the perspective of a Yorùbá cultural aesthetics. In this chapter, we examine the dialectics of “surreptitious insurrection”, which Tejumola Olaniyan describes as “uncommon sense”; and the articulation of the will to freedom which Tegonni, Òsófisán’s Antigone, uses to confront power; and the use of new technologies to articulate the issue of corruption in African political process through an intercultural re-reading of William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Òsófisán uses performances to transact and bridge the cultural landscape between nations to paint a portrait that defines our existence and the relationship between peoples. Further, I assess how our playwright uses Yorùbá (Nigeria) and Greek/English (Western) cultural elements to interpret and subvert contemporary realities, such as the re-interpretation of postcolonialism as being more than the cultural legacy of colonialism and imperialism but one that particularly explicates the consequences of exploitation in the postcolony by substituting colonialists with neo-colonial indigenous elites; exchanges in power politics; economic integration; and shifting cultural relationships. In this chapter, I am using the terms colonial and postcolonial in a way that has become accepted; colonial refers to the actual historical period of European occupation of various nations in Africa, but more specifically, Yorùbáland; postcolonial is temporally later and relates to various critical thoughts about as well as disagreement with the ideologies that accompanied colonialism.
|Journal||African Performance Review|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2021|