African Nights

An historical comedy/drama by Clint Jefferies

(all photos this page -- Carol Rosegg)

"Clint Jefferies' African Nights is a startling contrast to his last drama, The Jocker, and is every bit as brilliant and compelling... The theme is the decay of both individuals and their social class and the soul-storm that George [Windsor] undergoes is every bit as dramatic as the same love-vs-duty conflict is in the plays of Corneille... African Nights is a play which demands to be seen."

--Stewart Benedict, Michael's Thing

“Clint Jefferies’ African Nights should be presented regularly by the Wings Theatre Company -- the writing stands on its own as some of the most purposeful in the genre, and is a real feather in the company’s cap. Jefferies tragicomic glimpse of British and American aristocracy, their various addictions, eccentricities and indeed egocentricities, is alternately maudlin and hilarious... It’s possibilities for transfer to video are limitless!”

--Andrew Martin, Applause, Applause

“The playwrights’ themes are clear and deeply-felt and generally well-realized; and the atmosphere is rich and exotic and fascinating.”

--Martin Denton,

“To put it simply, Clint Jefferies’ African Nights is a gorgeously crafted and acted play...”

--Jay Jimenez, Next Magazine

“African Nights is a well-written play that was enjoyable to watch and interesting to follow. I believe this play may be destined for a successful off-Broadway run.”

--Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens, Applause Applause Play Picks

“The first half is all skillful exposition and witty repartee with a few engaginglyremarkable performances, led by Bekka Lindstrom as the carefree, bourgeois, and totally British Lady Idina. Karen Stanion expertly delivers her socialite friend Kiki, who is equal parts gleeful gossip, hapless flirt, and friendly drug dealer… The adept direction by Jeffery Corrick hits all the right marks. Set design by Robert Monaco is bright and quite beautiful, and period costumes by Tom Claypool set the right political climate and location."

--Jeanette Toomer – Backstage

"African Nights [is] replete with sharp, snappy dialogue… Director Jeffery Corrick helmed admirably...”

--Gammy L. Singer – Amsterdam News

“Don’t get put off by the Harlequin romance-sounding title of this two-act play… With strong stage delivery from a cast of promising young actors, and ambitious costume and set design, “African Nights” offers a safe bet for an evening of steady-going entertainment... A commentary on the impoverished interior lives of the materially rich… “African Nights,” makes no pretense of traveling too far beyond the bounds of historical fiction. And in our post-colonial, gay marriage era, it nicely captures a time that is long gone.”

--Nicholas Boston – Gay City News

Playwright Clint Jefferies opened many eyes (and won an OOBR Award) with his impressive historical drama Tango Masculino at Wings Theatre a few seasons back. Now he has returned to the venue with an equally challenging history play, African Nights... A rare perspective into the privileged world of colonial Kenya, circa 1928, and is an eye-opening effort in its own right... In fact, Jefferies seems to have done his homework, including many factual elements embellished with creative license. With the inclusion of rampant drug use, sexual promiscuity, and open homosexuality, the play makes it easy for modern audiences to relate to the after-dark activities... Director Jeffery Corrick added an exciting level of physical and intellectual tension to the piece..."

--Elias Stimac The Off-off Broadway Review

A fictionalized portrait of real people and relationships, African Nights is set in 1928 among the ‘Happy Valley’ set of colonial Kenya -- a notorious group of wealthy American expatriates and British aristocrats who made the pursuit of pleasure something near obsession. Into this wild and exotic society comes George Windsor, (brother to both Edward VIII and George VI) whose lovers by this time have ranged from Noel Coward and the son of the Argentine ambassador to black chanteuse Florence Mills and Kiki Whitney Preston, infamous as “The girl with the silver syringe.” Amid the extremes and excess of Happy Valley, he is forced to confront the chasm between the way he wishes to live -- and the way of life demanded by his birth. (5M/3F)

African Nights was produced by the Wings Theatre Company, NYC, and received a staged reading at New Jersey Repertory. It was revived by Wings in May/June, 2004.

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