Dance of the Vampires and Six Other Plays
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: African Books Collective
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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Growing up in the 50s in the verdant valleys of Noniland, chances were stacked more on the side of Nazarius (a name he dropped) Bole Butake becoming a tapper of frothy palm wine or a farmer a la Achebe’s Okonkwo, levelling the hillocks and mulching the valleys. ...
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The mention of Bole Butake’s name will most likely ring a bell – especially among those familiar with Cameroon’s literature in English. This is especially true for students who have had occasion to study or perform some of his plays. After more than 40 years of teaching in the then University of Yaounde (now University of Yaounde I), ...
Part I - Dance of the Vampires
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Complete silence. Eerie sounds of night birds of ill omen: owls, bats etc. Orchestrated sounds dominated by deep wind instruments and shrill voices (combination of Lum and Kwifon) of Dikang and howling of Nkow. Five masked figures perform the cult dance. ...
Part II - Family Saga
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Kamalo, big and fat and wearing a three piece suit is lounging in an easy chair, drinking and smoking and listening to a Bikutsi tune which is playing very loud. Kamala, a diminutive man in a workaday jumper, enters from backstage. He is thoroughly angry. He turns down the volume of the music. ...
Part III - Lake God
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From backstage a mourning song, Mangvun, is heard. It rises gradually to the rhythm of the Ngem or double-gong bell. Then a lone person makes his entrance on stage, performing unsteady funerary steps and chanting the mourning song. He makes a round across the playing area and finally stops around centre stage with one last stroke on his Ngem. ...
Part IV - Betrothal without Libation
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Evening. Home of Mr and Mrs Itoh Eyong, highly educated couple teaching in local high school. Mr Eyong is sitting in a chair reading a newspaper or magazine. Noise of cooking from kitchen offstage and Mrs Eyong’s voice is heard now and again issuing orders to the boy. ...
Part V - And Palm-wine will Flow
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The sacred grove of Nyombom, characterised by an elaborately decorated pot, nshang wong, in which libation is poured to the gods. Elsewhere in the grove are a number of masks, also elaborately decorated with dark fibre or cloth, thus making them easy to be used as disguises by various characters in the play. ...
Part VI - The Rape of Michelle
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Rufina’s chicken parlour. The furniture is typical of such places in Yaounde and around the country. There is Rufina, the land-lady who is about thirty and very pretty; and Michelle, her beautiful daughter at about age fourteen who often passes for her junior sister. ...
Part VII - Shoes
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Four soldiers, their weapons at the ready storm playing area from different directions and then converge CS. Silence followed by wild laughter. ...
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Page Count: 394
Publication Year: 2013