A History of Theatre in Africa by Martin Banham

By Martin Banham

Delivering a finished account of an extended and sundry chronicle, this historical past of theater in Africa is constructed from essays written via students within the box. The assurance is geographically extensive and contains an exam of the innovations 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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Made Christianity the official religion of Egypt, which became part of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine). After many violent schisms the monophysite (belief in the one nature in the person of Jesus) Coptic Church of Egypt was established in , with a Coptic Pope and Patriarch in Alexandria and a nominal authority over the Ethiopian Church. Inevitably, during the long-drawn-out process of the establishment of Christianity, many elements of earlier ways of life and of religion were retained, modified or transformed.

Later they were joined by the National Folk Dance Troupe. The Balloon Theatre was their main venue, which they shared with the Lyric Operetta Musical Theatre. A new ballet company and Higher Institute had been formed with the help of the Russians, whereas the Rumanians helped to train the operators of the new Children’s Puppet Theatre, which built its repertoire on Egyptian and Arab traditions and folklore; it later shared its space with the Children’s Theatre first instituted in . In addition to all the activity in Cairo, a vast system of ‘cultural palaces’ on the lines of the French model were opened in all the most important towns of the country.

The only acting group he describes are the Mohabbazeen, who were players of low farces at festivals, at the houses of the great and in public places. The actors were men and boys impersonating women when necessary, who got their laughs from vulgar gestures and sexually indecent actions. Sometimes the performance might take a contemporary critical or political turn. Lane also describes the performances that accompanied domestic or social celebrations, such as birth, circumcision, marriage, the return from pilgrimage, joining a guild, the entertainment of friends, or, finally, the presence of the naddada, the professional wailing women and eulogists, at funerals.

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