Madmen and Specialists

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Madmen and Specialists
Written by Wole Soyinka
Characters Dr. Bero
Old Man
Si Bero
Iya Agba
Iya Mate
Date premiered August 1, 1970 (1970-08-01)
Place premiered Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
Original language English
Subject Nigerian Civil War
Setting Dr. Bero's surgery and the space before it, Nigeria, 1969

Madmen and Specialists is a play by Wole Soyinka, conceived in 1970 during his imprisonment in the Nigerian Civil War. The play, Soyinka's eighth, has close links to the Theatre of the Absurd.[1] Abiola Irele (in the Lagos Sunday Times) called it "a nightmarish image of our collective life as it appears to a detached and reflective consciousness". It was published in London 1971 by Methuen and in New York in 1972 by Hill & Wang.

Madmen and Specialists is considered Soyinka's most pessimistic play, dealing with "man's inhumanity and pervasive corruption in structures of power".[2] The plot concerns Dr. Bero, a corrupt specialist, who imprisons and torments his physician father.


  1. ^ Hans M. Zell, Carol Bundy, Virginia Coulon, A New Reader's Guide to African Literature, Heinemann Educational Books, 1983, p. 171.
  2. ^ Liukkonen, Petri. "Wole Soyinka". Books and Writers ( Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015.