Ukaegbu, V. (2002) Performing postcolonially: contextual changes in the adaptations of Wole Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman and Femi Osofisan's Once Upon Four Robbers. World Literature Written in English.40(1), pp. 71-85. 0093-1705.
Postcolonial theatre and intercultural theatre have different aims and performance strategies. The former seeks to "dismantle the effects of colonialism" (Lawson 153) while the latter re-packages foreign materials for new "target" audiences (Pavis Crossroads 137). Rustom Bharucha challenges Western adaptations for misinterpreting other cultures' ideas, but the problem is both conceptual and practical. Adaptations that gloss over the political agenda of texts and their concerns for cultural authenticity or that privilege transcultural presentation strategies produce mere "atmospherics" (Soyinka Dialogue 3) and "cultural fragments" (Brandon 31) instead of reinforcing the postcolonial intentions of "source" texts. This article will distinguish between postcolonial and transcultural strategies and analyse how transcultural approaches to space, mise-en-scene and characterisation in Western productions of Wole Soyinka's Death and King's Horseman written in 1975 and Femi Osofisan's Once Upon Four Robbers first published in 1991 undermine both texts' postcolonial intentions.
postcolonial, adaptation, transcultural, cultural
fragments, atmospherics, source, target