Read a play with us each month
Monthly play reading activity aiming to spread awareness, and increase appreciation of playwrights and playwriting from around the world. Anyone is welcome to join, and read regardless of reading or language skills. The session will be followed by a discussion led by a professional theatre artist to spark conversations about the themes, style, form, and current world issues related to the selected play.
Coming up next
May 20th, 7:00PM - 9:30PM
Death and the King’s Horseman
A play by Wole Soyinka based on a real incident that took place in Nigeria during the colonial era: the horseman of a Yoruba King was prevented from committing ritual suicide by the colonial authorities. According to Yoruba tradition, the death of the king must be followed by the ritual suicide of the king’s horseman as well as the king’s dog and horse, because the horseman’s spirit is essential to helping the chief’s spirit ascend to the afterlife. Otherwise, the king’s spirit will wander the earth and bring harm to the Yoruba people. The first half of the play documents the process of this ritual, with the potent, life-loving figure Elesin living out his final day in celebration before the ritual process begins. At the last minute, the local colonial administrator, Simon Pilkings, intervenes, the suicide being viewed as illegal and unnecessary by the colonial authorities.
Wole Soyinka was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, world’s highest recognition for writers, in 1986. Soyinka was born into a Yoruba family in Abeokuta, in 1934. His full name is Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde Soyinka.
In 1954, he attended Government College in Ibadan, and subsequently University College Ibadan and the University of Leeds in England. After studying in Nigeria and the UK, he worked with the Royal Court Theatre in London, one of the world’s leading theatres for launching new work.
Reading a play is like venturing into a new world.
Most frequently asked questions and answers
No, there is no need to purchase the play in order to read, although we strongly encourage you to supporting the livelihood of playwrights by purchasing their published work. For the purpose of Play Date read, we have obtained a permission of the playwright to read their work and you will be provided with access to it on the day of the read. Please do consider supporting playwright by either purchasing the play, attending a show in the future or donating. Thank you.
You are trying something new! Yay! No need to prepare anything, we will explain how things go during our event. If you have any special requests, or accessibility needs, please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Of course you can! Join us for a Play Date, and enter your suggested play in the survey at the end of the session. Our team will read the play, contact the playwright (if the play is still under copyright) and add find a way how to add it to the schedule.