In this lively and varied tribute to Martin Banham, Layiwola has assembled critical commentaries and two plays which focus primarily on Nigerian theatre - both traditional and contemporary.
Dele Layiwola, Dapo Adelugba and Sonny Oti trace the beginnings of the School of Drama in 1960, at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where Martin Banham played a key and influential role in the growth of thriving Nigerian theatre repetoire and simulaneously encouraging the creation of a new theatre based on traditional Nigerian theatre forms.
This comparative approach is taken up in Dele Layiwola's study of ritual and drama in the context of various traditions worldwide, while Oyin Ogunba presents a lucid picture of the complex use of theatre space in Yoruba ritual dramadar
Harsh everyday realitites, both physical and political, are graphically demonstrated by Robert McClaren (Zimbabwe) and Oga Steve Abah (Nigeria) who both show surprising and alarming links between extreme actual experiences and theatre creation and performance.
The texts of the two plays - When Criminals Turn Judges by Ola Rotimi, The Hand that Feeds the King by Wale Ogunyemi, are followed by Austin O. Asagba's study of oral tradition and text in plays by Osofisan and Agbeyegbe, and Frances Harding's study on power, language, and imagery in Wole Soyinka's plays.
Dr. Dele Layiwola is senior research fellow at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, where he is editor of African Notes and teaches African theatre and dance forms. Recently he was Visiting Commonwealth Fellow at the University of Ulster, Coleraine, and is co-editor (Nigeria) for Harwood Academic Publishers' Theatre in African Cultures videotape and text series.