Introduction

The Raft: is the third play in a trilogy by John Pepper Clark. With the other plays—Song of a Goat (1961) and The Masquerade—the trilogy was published under the title Three Plays by Oxford University Press in 1964. Clark wrote both The Masquerade and The Raft in the United States while on a fellowship to Princeton University from 1962 to 1963, one of the few positive outcomes of the experience The Raft is often regarded by critics as the least solid of the plays in the trilogy, and they have given it mixed reviews. It is not often performed because of the difficulties in staging the play. The first production was in 1964 at the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) Arts Theatre.

The Raft focuses on four lumbermen who face numerous problems after the raft they are on is set adrift in unusual circumstances. Despite the fact that some of the men have experience in dealing with the river, they do not reach their destination The Raft is set on the Niger River Delta, where Clark grew up and where he set many of his plays. Critics have offered vaned interpretations of the play. Some believe it is an allegory of the political situation in Nigeria at the time, while others argue it is about economic determinism. Still others, including Clark, say The Raft concerns the human condition and the precarious world in which all of humankind lives.

The Raft Summary

One: Tide-Wash
The Raft opens at night on a creek in the Niger Delta. Two lumbermen. Kengide and Olotu, are trying to sleep...

(The entire section is 1127 words.)