Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman
Nigeria, 1943. The King is dead, and tonight his Horseman must escort him to the Ancestors.
I am the master of my fate.
When the hour comes watch me dance
along the narrowing path...
My soul is eager. I shall not turn aside.
As Elesin Oba dances through the closing marketplace, flirting with the women, pursued by his praise-singer and an entourage of drummers, he promises to honour the ancient Yoruba custom of ritual suicide and so accompany his ruler on the final journey. But a life so rich is hard to leave, and this is a British colony where such customs are not tolerated, no matter how sacred.
Set against the conflict of indigenous and invader, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka’s extraordinary play uses Elesin’s transition from the living to the dead to examine the essence of corruption and the power of the human will.
You white races know how to survive; I’ve seen proof of that… But at least have the humility to let others survive in their own way.
Death and the King’s Horseman runs on the following dates at the National Theatre
Wed 1 (Preview), Thu 2 (Preview),
Fri 3 (Preview), Sat 4 (Preview),
Mon 6 (Preview), Tue 7 (Preview),
Wed 8 (Press, 7:00 pm), Thu 9, Sat 11 (2:00 pm), Sat 11, Mon 13, Mon 20, Tue 21 (2:00 pm), Tue 21, Wed 22, Thu 23
Fri 1, Sat 2 (2:00 pm), Sat 2, Mon 4, Thu 7, Fri 8 (Audio Described), Sat 9 (Audio Described, 2:00 pm), Sat 9, Mon 11, Tue 12, Wed 13, Thu 14
Tue 2, Wed 3, Thu 4 (2:00 pm), Thu 4, Fri 5, Sat 6 (2:00 pm), Sat 6, Thu 11, Fri 12, Sat 13 (Captioned, 2:00 pm), Sat 13, Mon 15, Tue 16, Wed 17 (2:00 pm), Wed 17
Address: Olivier Theatre, National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
Box office: 020 20 7 452 3000 or book online
Tickets: A Travelex £10 Tickets production: almost half the seats for every performance are £10 or evenings and matinees from £10 -£15
Review of Death and the King's Horseman
Interview with Nonso Anozie
Interview with David Ajala