Dr Dennis Eluyefa

Dr Dennis Eluyefa is a Senior Lecturer in Drama in the School of Humanities. He studied at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria before coming to the UK. He holds MA and PhD in Performing Arts, Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education and Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Education Studies: Research Skills from the University of Winchester. He teaches on Drama in the Community/Applied Drama undergraduate programme. He is also a theatre practitioner. He has worked professionally for many years with Dr Hubert Ogunde, the acclaimed father and founder of Nigerian contemporary theatre and had in-depth training in acting, voice and movement with him. He also worked at the Ondo State Centre for Arts and Culture Akure, Nigeria as an actor and a choreographer. He has done many TV and radio dramas, and also featured in ‘Nollywood’ films. He has also performed, danced and choreographed for many top musicians in Nigeria, including King Sunny Ade. Prior to joining Bishop Grosseteste University in 2014, Dennis worked at E15 Acting School, University of Essex; Kingston University and the University of Winchester. He has also worked as a guest lecturer at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama London, University of Birmingham, Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Plymouth. Dennis is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a member of the African Theatre Association (AfTA) in the UK.


Dennis teaches on a number of undergraduate modules within the BA (Hons) Applied Drama in the Community and BA (Hons) Drama programmes, including Academic and Critical Skills, Documentary and Verbatim Theatre, Theatre for Development (TfD), Contemporary British Theatre, Theatre and Stage Management, Script & Performance Writing, Decolonising Drama, Directing and Devising, Intercultural Performance Practice, etc.

Dennis’s research interests are in Non-Western Theatre (mainly African); Children’s Theatre; Postcolonial Theatre and Performance; Applied Theatre and Community Theatre. Dennis welcomes interest from PhD students who may wish to research on any of his research areas.

Dennis has done many projects with Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) in Winchester and one of the chapters in his PhD thesis was a case study of the work that he did with the inmates at HMP Kingston in Portsmouth. He performed alongside the ‘Young Gifted and Brum’ (YGB), a group of children between the age of 8 and 18 at the Drum Arts Centre in Birmingham, played the part of ‘Elesin’ (Horseman), the major character in Wole Soyinka’s ‘Death and the King’s Horseman’, from 8-10 December 2011. He was also the cultural consultant for this project, which was sponsored by the BBC Performing Arts Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund. He was involved in the Magna Carta’s project with the Lincoln Castle for the 800 years anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015.

Book Chapters / Journal Articles

Eluyefa, D. O. (2017). Children’s Theatre: A Brief Pedagogical Approach, Arts Praxis, 4 (1), pp. 77-91.

Eluyefa, D. O. (2015), ‘Empowering the disempowered: The dùndún drumming tradition in a British prison’, Applied Theatre Research, 3: 3, pp. 271–283

Eluyefa, D. O. (2015) ‘The Cultural Politics of Power in the Yorùbá Dùndún Drumming Tradition’, Sixth Asian Conference on the Arts and Humanities proceedings: https://iafor.org/

Eluyefa, D. O. (2013) ‘Mis/Representation of culture in two Hampshire churches’, Theatre Research International (TRI), Vol. 38, Issue 03, pp. 214-228

Eluyefa, D. O. (2012) ‘My Best Training Advice and Why’, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal (TDPT), ISSUE 3. 1, (March 2012)

Eluyefa, D. O. (2011). Recontexualisation of the dùndún drumming tradition in Hampshire, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Winchester

2016: ‘From Retributive Justice to Restorative Justice: Creative Arts as Strategies of Resistance in Britain’, Seventh Asian Conference on the Arts and Humanities (7-10 April 2016), Kobe, Japan.

2016: ‘Creative Arts as Restorative Strategies within the Criminal Justice System in Britain’, The IAFOR International Conference on Arts & Humanities (27-29 February 2016), Dubai, UAE.

2015 ‘The Cultural Politics of Power in the Yorùbá Dùndún Drumming Tradition’, The Sixth Asian Conference on the Arts and Humanities (April 2, 2015 – Sunday, April 5, 2015), Osaka, Japan.

2013 ‘Empowering the Disempowered: The Dùndún Drumming Tradition in a British Prison’, Arts and Society Conference, Budapest, Hungary.

2011 ‘“Songs of freedom I cry”: A day in the life of an inmate in a British prison’, African Theatre Association (AfTA) Annual International Conference, Swansea Metropolitan University.

2011 ‘Drumming: a holistic approach to restoration of offenders’, Second Asian Conference on the Arts and Humanities, Osaka, Japan.

2009, ‘Critiquing the term and concept of “Alárìnjó” in Yorùbá Theatre’, African Theatre Association (AfTA) Annual International Conference, University of Northampton.

2008, Panellist on ‘Supervising International Postgraduate Research Students: Challenges and Opportunities’, the UK GRAD South East Hub Conference, University of Southampton.

2008, an attendee at the PALATINE Conference on ‘Asian and African Theatre in Higher Education’ for the non-western theatre academics, University of Reading.

2008, ‘Solving or Minimising the Problem of Ambiguity in Yorùbá Talking Drum’; Research and Knowledge Exchange Day, University of Winchester.

2007, ‘Recontextualisation of the Dùndún in a British Prison’, Performing Africa! Visualizing Africa! Conference, Ohio University, Athens, USA.

2007, ‘The Concept of “Alárìnjó” in Yorùbá Theatre’, African Theatre Association (AfTA) Annual International Conference, Goldsmiths, University of London.


2011, As ‘Elesin’ (Horseman) in ‘Death and the King’s Horseman’ by Wole Soyinka, The Drum Arts Centre, Birmingham (8-10 December 2011)

2011, ‘The dùndún drumming tradition’ (with the African Drumming Ensemble), Hampshire’s got talent programme for “The High Sheriff’s Concert”, Winchester Cathedral (5 February 2011)

2008, ‘Conversation with the dùndún’ (with children of Fairfields Primary School Basingstoke), “Step Into The Picture Concert”, the Anvil Theatre, Basingstoke

2007, ‘African Music’ (with the African Drumming Ensemble), “Church Colleges & Universities Choirs Festival”, Winchester Cathedral.

2006, ‘Performing Africa’ for “Voices in a Strange Land”: an intercultural performance with Colin Firth, St Swithun School, Winchester.

2005, ‘Leave Them Alone’, a full-length play written by me and staged at the University of Winchester.

2004 – 2009, ‘African Music’ (with the African Drumming Ensemble), “Please Note Concerts”, the University of Winchester.

2004, ‘The Saving Grace’, a dance-drama written by me and exhibited at the Anvil Theatre, Basingstoke.