Theater: Culture Clash


by David Pownall

Dr. David Livingstone did not go to Africa in 1841 to explore the Dark Continent but to save souls in darkness. The conversion of native tribes was his task, specifically the Bakwena. Their chief, Sechele, became Livingstone's one and only convert, a pivotal event and, to Livingstone's missionary spirit, a crushing rebuke, around which British Playwright David Pownall's tragicomic drama revolves.

While the skilled four-character cast at Manhattan's Quaigh Theater becomes a trifle overwrought, Livingstone and Sechele is a fascinating study of culture clash. The opening scene is like a child's Garden of Eden. Sechele (Afemo) and...

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