The next time someone asks me in that sneering voice most do, “so what is it exactly you get from these plays?” I will chin up look them directly in those sneering eyes and with the best of smiles answer, they let me tour the city if laughing for more than 2 hrs is not good enough for you.
Ikenia arts (Johari five cast) ,decided for those whose shags is Nairobi, those whose Shags is so far from Nairobi the 3 day Easter break can only cover a one way trip, and those like yours truly who have no reason why they were still around should get entertained and if Johari/Ikenia says lets entertain, we have no choice but get entertained.
The above is why Sunday the 5th 6pm finds me in Ruaka’s Herisquare hall armed only with the prospects of a good Easter laugh. You now get the city touring part….. no? ok that is it.
The play is scheduled for 6:00 pm but the production house decides a little mugithi on Easter never hurt anyone. Again, they decide its mugithi for us, we take mugithi for us. The much welcome one-man guitar keeps us entertained until 7:00 pm, which I highly appreciate.
7:11pm the play starts. Mr. Hiram’s wedding celebrations are ongoing but neither the bride nor the groom is around. So what to do for the choir that is to entertain? Keep practicing on the songs because we cannot afford to have that shrill voice that is most often with the smallest lady ruining the whole formation. This they do gladly but all their songs are burial songs. Apparently, a wedding is the same as a burial and this they hilariously explain. Mr Hiram(groom) as we get to learn is that chap in your local village who has ventured in all trades possible such that making it to his own wedding on time would be a feather in his cap which he does not get to acquire. While at the wedding, business has to go on and if Mr Hiram wants to do business, Mr Hiram gets to do business. An annoyed wife and interrupted vows from business phone calls are not a bother because as said earlier, this is Mr. Hiram. The worst comes when the man’s mean streak is manifested with a missing priest and wedding bands because if Mr, Hiram wants to spend no money, Mr. Hiram gets to spend no money. However, business has to go on wedding or no wedding so if you want food in the ceremony, its served from Hiram’s hotel at only sh 150 a plate. Any of you guest suddenly feel full…. thought so too.
Next we are taken to a bar with the local drunkards and if you thought the first scene was hilarious, this takes the cake. From the lady with no “R” in her words to princess and the dancers this is that scene you ask to for an extension.
This is only because you are not aware the cougars scene is next. The ladies here take chama to a whole new level. I thought “car engines” could only be used in reference to cars, but after this scene am looking for an engine’s manual to make sure there are no underlying sexual undertone in it. So if you’ve got one-an engine manual that is- assist a sister here.
Remember Hiram from the first scene? He makes an appearance in this final scene. The wife having had enough of his stinginess has gone back home. Wahome Njatha Hiram’s friends together with Hiram decide help a brother get his wife and children back because as I gather that is the primary role of male friends.is it? (shrugs shoulders). The wife as it appears has gone from grass to grace but there is nothing gracey about this scene. Hiram learns the kids he is raising are not his because where was the time to make babies with all the hustle? A mad man always hanging around asking for food has kwachuad kids and as we learn, “Mundu agurukaga Mutwe no ti kiongo”
The 9-cast play did a splendid job for the more than two and a half hour show backed up by performances from Allan Aaron and the one man guitar. Mundu Particular,Jakonia and Martin wa Janet we receive your greetings.
With all that praise, I have a problem from here to Timbuktu with the hall at Herisquare. What again? THE THEATRE HALL AT HERISQUARE. First the hall is flat, slight problem there but you cannot have a flat hall and a stage that is barely raised. This means for the better part of the play you are craning your neck and engaging in all manner of head aerobics depending on the size of the hair the person seated in front of you is rocking. Make it that the person seated in front of you places their hand on their neighbors’ seat and there was nothing to smile about. To cap all this, the hall is next to the bar and when revelers pay to be entertained, revelers have to be entertained play or lack of soundproof walls notwithstanding. The bigger question however is what happens to Ikenia fans who don’t drive? How do they get home for a play that ends past 9:30pm with no matatu stage nearby?
By the way, I would love answers to these questions. Ikenia Arts, anyone?
For a play that was that good, it’s sad how much fun was sucked away by the theatre hall