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Esiaba Irobi's Drama and the Postcolony

Theory and Practice of Postcolonial Performance

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Diala, Isidore

Kraft Books, 2014
Livrel 298p.
(Literary Criticism)
ISBN: 9789789182725
Esiaba Irobi (1960-2010) was one of Africa's most innovative and productive younger playwrights. Deeply rooted in the indigenous performance traditions of his Igbo ethnic group, Irobi's drama, in the tradition of Wole Soyinka, is a hybrid production involving an iconoclastic reconceptualisation of the heritage he appropriates, its fascinating conflation with other performance traditions, and their projection onto the arena of contemporary Nigerian politics. This study by Isidore Diala is the first book-length examination of Irobi's work. It portrays a highly creative individual who was literally driven by the creative urge. The five chapters of this study illuminate different aspects of Irobi's oeuvre and include a vivid portrayal of Irobi the actor in his dream role of Elesin Oba, the eponymous King's Horseman in Wole Soyinka's drama. Diala highlight's Irobi's fascination for African festivals, which feature prominently in the earlier plays.He also demonstrates that although he is rooted in his Igbo culture, Irobi draws on different ethnic groups, pointing to conceptions of pan-Africanism that include the wAfrican diaspora.
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