Written in five scenes, it is performed without interruption. "The play is seldom performed outside of Africa. Soyinka himself has directed important American productions, in Chicago in 1979 and at Lincoln Center in New York in 1987, but these productions were more admired than loved. Although respected by critics, Soyinka’s plays are challenging for Westerners to perform and to understand, and they have not been popular successes."
The play was performed at London's Royal National Theatre beginning in April 2009, directed by Rufus Norris, with choreography by Javier de Frutos and starring Lucian Msamati. It was also performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival from February 14 to July 5, 2009. The play was also staged by the St. Louis Black Repertory Theater February 2008, directed by Olusegun Ojewuyi, who also was dramaturge for the Oregon Shakespeare's production. A Yoruba translation Iku Olokun Esin was also performed at the National Theater, Lagos Nigeria, directed by Olusegun Ojewuyi (thus making him the first and only director to have staged the play in both English and in Yoruba – the language and culture of the play.