Anwar, Nadia

Dynamics of Distancing in Nigerian Drama


A Functional Approach to Metatheatre



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Nadia Anwar presents a compelling reading framework for the study and analysis of selected post-independence Nigerian dramas, using the conceptual parameters of metatheatre, a theatrical strategy which foregrounds the process of play-making by breaking the dramatic illusion. She argues that distancing, as a function of metatheatre, creates a balanced theatrical experience and environment in terms of the emotive and cognitive levels of reception of a particular performance.
Anwar's book is the first in-depth study of the concept of metatheatre with reference to Nigerian drama including Wole Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman (1975) and King Baabu (2002), Ola Rotimi's Kurunmi (1971) and Hopes of the Living Dead (1988), Femi Osofisan's The Chattering and the Song (1977) and Women of Owu (2006), Esiaba Irobi's Hangmen Also Die (1989), and Stella 'Dia Oyedepo's A Play That Was Never to Be (1998).
The perspectives of Bertolt Brecht (1936), Thomas J. Scheff (1963), and other theoreticians of dramatic distancing and metatheatre are used in the analyses and, where required, challenged through appropriate contextual and theoretical adjustments.
The book is the first attempt to illustrate how Brechtian approach to the display and generation of emotions can be revised through Scheff's model of emotional balance.

272 Seiten, Paperback. 2016
ISBN 978-3-8382-0842-8



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"I can attest, with unflinching confidence, that Anwar's work is the most thorough, imaginative, fresh and exhaustive new scholarly work on post-independence Nigerian drama in the present. What makes the book so powerful is its scholarly rigor."
Dr Victor Ukaegbu, Department of Performing Arts and English, University of Bedfordshire

"A hugely profound contribution to Nigerian, indeed African, theatre scholarship. A clear strength of this book is the variety of Nigerian plays used as case studies, as well as Anwar's methodical examination of an area of study that is acutely underrepresented in African theatre scholarship.
[…] a significant and much valued contribution to African theatre and performance scholarship […] a must read for anyone interested in Nigerian drama […]."
Dr Sam Kasule, Professor of Post-Colonial Theatre and Performance, University of Derby

"A good summing up of the work of significant African writers and dramatists who have enriched literature with their own sensibility and ethos"
Sarwat Ali, The News on Sunday, October 23, 2016


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