Brew, F. (2018). The ‘linking character’: A valuable tool for African playwrights

 The playwright’s story is often bigger than what the stage can take within a stipulated time frame. It then becomes imperative for the writer to effect significant cutbacks which might involve character mergers, setting eliminations, story condensations, event narrations and expressional conciseness. This becomes a daunting task to especially amateur writers and sometimes those who have significant experience in writing. One of the techniques to accomplish the aforementioned and still retain desired meaning is to use what I call the ‘linking character.’ Linking characters are given different names in various plays. For instance, Aidoo calls the linking character in Anowa, ‘The-Mouth-That-Eats-Salt-And-Pepper’ whilst Yaw Asare uses ‘Ananse’ in his play, Ananse In The Land Of Idiots. Despite such distinct names, they ultimately function in similar ways. This article assesses the roles of linking characters in eight selected African plays regarding their purposes and effectiveness. Varied situations, dialogue and other issues are cited from these plays and analysed in correlation with available literature. The article also popularises the efficacy of utilisation of linking characters and recommends them for up and coming African Playwrights. 

The ‘Linking Character’: A Valuable Tool for African Playwrights

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