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Dance of the Vampires and Six Other Plays

Bole Butake

Publication Year: 2013

This crowning collection brings together seven of Bole Butakeís finest plays since 1984, namely: Dance of the Vampires; Family Saga; Lake God; Betrothal Without Libation; And Palm Wine Will Flow; The Rape of Michelle; and Shoes. More than an academic, Butake has distinguished himself as a playwright, unearthing and foregrounding the ills, travails and predicaments of a land and people trapped by the blood-dripping impunities of vampires in power. In his rich repertoire of over ten plays, Butake takes sides with the downtrodden, the wretched of the earth, the deprived and the underdogs. His jabs and jibes, aimed at the rulers, are scathing, at times vitriolic. He has excelled at a stubborn determination to ignore the sinecures, lure and allure of power without responsibility.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-3


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pp. iii-iv

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Preface One

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pp. v-viii

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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Preface Two

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pp. ix-xiv

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), ...

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Part I - Dance of the Vampires

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pp. 1-58

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. ...

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Part II - Family Saga

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pp. 59-110

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. ...

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Part III - Lake God

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pp. 111-194

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. ...

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Part IV - Betrothal without Libation

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pp. 195-242

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. ...

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Part V - And Palm-wine will Flow

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pp. 243-284

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. ...

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Part VI - The Rape of Michelle

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pp. 285-330

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. ...

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Part VII - Shoes

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pp. 331-380

Four soldiers, their weapons at the ready storm playing area from different directions and then converge CS. Silence followed by wild laughter. ...

Back cover

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p. 396-396

E-ISBN-13: 9789956790425
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956790395

Page Count: 394
Publication Year: 2013