Stage Door News

Stratford: “Death and the King’s Horseman” premieres on Stratfest@Home February 9

Thursday, February 9, 2023

The Stratford Festival’s filmed performance of Death and the King’s Horseman will debut for streaming world-wide on Thursday, February 9, 2023 via Stratfest@Home. Wole Soyinka’s theatre masterpiece joins a collection of works curated for Black History Month, featuring Black stories told by Black artists. Additional titles in this collection include:

· Voice - Prairie Theatre Exchange

· Unarmed Verses - National Film Board

· Black Soul - National Film Board

· Meet Chloe - Carousel Players, written by Cameron Grant

· House Notes with Old Heads (podcast) – E.B. Smith and Addae Moon

· From Our Point of View (series) – Robert Ball, hosted by Hollywood Jade

· Whose Lives Matter (panel discussion) – Stratford Festival, The Meighen Forum

Death and the King’s Horseman finds us in British-occupied Nigeria following the recent death of Yoruba king, the Alafin, as his horseman, Elesin, prepares to conduct his final duty of accompanying his king into the afterlife. While lustily enjoying the pleasures of this world, Elesin proudly anticipates his transition to the next – but the sacred ritual is interrupted, resulting in unforeseen tragedy. Inspired by a real-life incident, Soyinka’s masterpiece celebrates a community striving to uphold its culture in the face of colonial power.

Directed for the stage by Tawiah M’Carthy and for the screen by Nicholas Shields, the production was captured live on October 7, 2022.

Anthony Santiago as Elesin and Amaka Umeh as the Praise-Singer are joined by Graham Abbey as Simon Pilkings, Kwaku Adu-Poku as Olunde, Akosua Amo-Adem as Iyaloja, Maev Beaty as Jane Pilkings, Josue Laboucane as The Prince, Pulga Muchochoma as Joseph, and Ngabo Nabea as Sergeant Amusa. Also in the cast are Bola Aiyeola, Celia Aloma, isi bhakhomen, Joella Crichton, Déjah Dixon-Green, Ijeoma Emesowum, Matthew Kabwe, Kevin Kruchkywich, Rachel Jones, Andrea Rankin, Tyrone Savage, Espoir Segbeaya and Norman Yeung. They are accompanied by onstage musicians, Amado Dedeu García, Adékúnlé Olórundáre (Kunle), Erik Samuel and Oluwakayode Sodunke.

Join us online for Death and the King’s Horseman, the entire Black History Month collection, and also five additional filmed performances from our 70th season including All’s Well That Ends Well (available now) as well as Hamlet, The Miser, Richard III and 1939 (coming soon). For more information, visit View the trailer on

Subscribe to Stratfest@Home for just $10 a month and gain access to the best in Canadian digital theatrical productions, including the Stratford Festival’s acclaimed Shakespeare films, selected productions from the 2021 and 2022 seasons, original digital content, and selected events from the Festival’s Meighen Forum, along with documentaries and original content from across the country.

Photo: Anthony Santiago as Elesin. © 2022 David Hou.