By Martin Banham
Providing a accomplished account of an extended and sundry chronicle, this background of theater in Africa is made from essays written by way of students within the box. The assurance is geographically wide and contains an exam of the recommendations of "history" and "theater" in Africa; North Africa; Francophone theatre; Anglophone West Africa; East Africa; Southern Africa; Lusophone African theatre; Mauritius and Reunion; in addition to the African diaspora.
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Additional resources for A History of Theatre in Africa
Newly rich classes demanded new stars and entertainment: revues, comedy, singing and dancing in shows that went on into the early hours of the morning, as entertainers improvised around very slight plots, sometimes taking crude potshots at the more obvious political or social faults to the delight of often rather unsophisticated audiences. Many of the comedians and actors who had been nurtured by the state theatre sector and the special companies formed to provide live theatre for television moved into the private sector, setting up their own companies and becoming big international Arab world stars through the medium of television and cinema.
Isis, Osiris’s consort, absorbed the identity of Demeter. Horus, their son, was identified with Apollo/Harpocrates. Their cults spread throughout the Hellenized world. The beliefs and traditions of the existing Egyptian settlement of Rakhotis were still celebrated, such as cutting the canal at the time of the flood. Although the city was cosmopolitan, with areas for Levantines and Jews, there was little intercourse with the local Egyptians, apart from the Hellenized priestly class.
Playwrights used symbolist forms, folk arts, verse, historical parallels and realism. Audiences related to this new sombre, often angry and critical mood, written and performed with the same intellectual fervour against a backdrop of an increasingly intrusive censorship and a state policy that felt that theatre should be providing entertainment rather than making people more politically and socially aware. This inward-looking period was interrupted by the October War in , when Egypt regained Sinai by a Peace Treaty with Israel under President Sadat, followed by a complete change of politics, economics and society.