An interview with stage actresses Akosua Amo-Adem and Déjah Dixon-Green. They are both part of the Stratford Festival's current production of Death and the King's Horsemen, written by renowned Nigerian playwright, novelist, poet and Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka. The production runs until October 29. As part of our conversation, we discuss the singularity of staging a Yoruba classic play at Stratford.
Death and the King's Horsemen
Until October 29
By Role Soyinka
Directed by Tawiah M'Carthy
In British-occupied Nigeria, a Yoruba king, the Alafin, has died, and it is the duty of his horseman, Elesin, to accompany him into the afterlife. While lustily enjoying the pleasures of this world, Elesin proudly anticipates his transition to the next – but the sacred ritual is interrupted, resulting in unforeseen tragedy. Inspired by a real-life incident, this masterpiece from Nobel Prize winner Soyinka celebrates a community striving to uphold its culture in the face of colonial power.
House Program: Death and the King's Horseman
Runtime: Two hours and 51 minutes, including one 18-minute interval