n African Performance Review - Technologies of faith performance : theatre / performance and Pentecostalism in Africa

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1753-5964


The notion of theatre has escaped from its conventional consistency into a state of amorphousness that seems to admit practically every form of physical interaction between people. This inconsistency is a consequence of the growing disaffection with conventional Western theatre's textuality and illusionism, and the influence of the postmodern critique of received orthodoxies. These conditions have enabled the emergence of performance as the practical and analytical category and the consequent accommodation of 'other theatres' and popular cultures within the discipline of theatre studies. This paper furthers this critical direction by examining the manner in which popular Pentecostalism in Africa deploys the technologies of performance in its evangelism. Adopting a perspective, the paper focuses on Chris Oyakhilome, the renowned Nigerian pastor, and credits his evangelical success to his dexterity as a performer; one who consciously exploits his body and every available media to influence an audience in pre-determined directions.

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