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Postcolonial Plays: An Anthology

af Helen Gilbert

Andre forfattere: Ama Ata Aidoo (Bidragyder), Charabanc Theatre Company (Bidragyder), Jimmy Chi (Bidragyder), Briar Grace-Smith (Bidragyder), Tomson Highway (Bidragyder)14 mere, Girish Karnad (Bidragyder), Kee Thuan Chye (Bidragyder), Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl (Bidragyder), Maishe Maponya (Bidragyder), Louis Nowra (Bidragyder), Femi Osofisan (Bidragyder), Manjula Padmanabhan (Bidragyder), Chin Woon Ping (Bidragyder), Sistren Theatre Collective (Bidragyder), Wole Soyinka (Bidragyder), Jane Taylor (Bidragyder), Judith Thompson (Bidragyder), Guillermo Verdecchia (Bidragyder), Derek Walcott (Bidragyder)

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This collection of contemporary postcolonial plays demonstrates the extraordinary vitality of a body of work that is currently influencing the shape of contemporary world theatre. This anthology encompasses both internationally admired 'classics' and previously unpublished texts, all dealing with imperialism and its aftermath. It includes work from Canada, the Carribean, South and West Africa, Southeast Asia, India, New Zealand and Australia. A general introduction outlines major themes in postcolonial plays. Introductions to individual plays include information on authors as well as overviews of cultural contexts, major ideas and performance history. Dramaturgical techniques in the plays draw on Western theatre as well as local performance traditions and include agit-prop dialogue, musical routines, storytelling, ritual incantation, epic narration, dance, multimedia presentation and puppetry. The plays dramatize diverse issues, such as: *globalization * political corruption * race and class relations *slavery *gender and sexuality *media representation *nationalism… (mere)
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I don't know enough about postcolonial drama to say if these are good choices considering the entire field, but on their own merits, it's a stunning batch of plays, spanning numerous countries: Canada, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Trinidad, Jamaica, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and even the United States.

Most important to me was probably Manjula Padmanabhan's Harvest, a rare piece of sf drama from India, which has some neat things to say and some dark humor. Other highlights included Wole Soyinka's The Strong Breed (about a man who escapes a village that sacrifices a member of the "strong breed" every year to a village that sacrifices a newcomer every year), Femi Osofisan's Once Upon Four Robbers (about four robbers who gain magical powers), and Girish Karnad's Hayavadana (about two competing men, but with some metatheatrical craziness). It was especially nice to see Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl's The Conversion of Kaʻahumanu here, which I saw performed as an undergraduate. (A friend did sound for it.) It was an excellent, even-handed approach to the colonization of Hawaiʻi both then and now.

There were a few lowlights: Maishe Maponya's The Hungry Earth and Briar Grace-Smith's Ngā Pou Wāhine were so surreal and allegorical as to be completely uninvolving, while Jimmy Chi's Bran Nue Dae may or may not have been good-- it's just that musicals make for awful reading. I wasn't very impressed by the Charabanc Theatre Company's Somewhere Over the Balcony; if the editor wanted a darkly humorous Irish play, surely anything by Martin McDonagh would have been more than adequate? Or even Sean O'Casey? And Keen Thuan Chye's 1984 Here and Now reinterpreted Orwell's 1984 in a pretty pointless fashion, if you ask me. But that's not a bad number of misses; most everything else ranged from average to brilliant. As usual, however, I'd really like to see some of these performed. Especially as given the high incidence of unusual stagecraft; I want to know how some of these things would actually look!
  Stevil2001 | Feb 5, 2010 |
Remarkably (consistently) enjoyable, for so perilous an undertaking as an anthology. Although I read them all quite a while ago, two of the plays stand out as among the most enjoyable of contemporary plays I have read: Derek Walcott's "Pantomime" and Manjula Padmanabhan's "Harvest." Also very impressive is that classic of Indian drama: Girish Karnad's "Hayavadana." ( )
1 stem sycoraxpine | May 24, 2006 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Helen Gilbertprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Aidoo, Ama AtaBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Charabanc Theatre CompanyBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Chi, JimmyBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Grace-Smith, BriarBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Highway, TomsonBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Karnad, GirishBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Kee Thuan ChyeBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Kneubuhl, Victoria NalaniBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Maponya, MaisheBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Nowra, LouisBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Osofisan, FemiBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Padmanabhan, ManjulaBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Ping, Chin WoonBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Sistren Theatre CollectiveBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Soyinka, WoleBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Taylor, JaneBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Thompson, JudithBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Verdecchia, GuillermoBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Walcott, DerekBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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This collection of contemporary postcolonial plays demonstrates the extraordinary vitality of a body of work that is currently influencing the shape of contemporary world theatre. This anthology encompasses both internationally admired 'classics' and previously unpublished texts, all dealing with imperialism and its aftermath. It includes work from Canada, the Carribean, South and West Africa, Southeast Asia, India, New Zealand and Australia. A general introduction outlines major themes in postcolonial plays. Introductions to individual plays include information on authors as well as overviews of cultural contexts, major ideas and performance history. Dramaturgical techniques in the plays draw on Western theatre as well as local performance traditions and include agit-prop dialogue, musical routines, storytelling, ritual incantation, epic narration, dance, multimedia presentation and puppetry. The plays dramatize diverse issues, such as: *globalization * political corruption * race and class relations *slavery *gender and sexuality *media representation *nationalism

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