In the course of the last two weeks I got two watch two different plays. On the two different weekends I sat in the same theatre hall on the same seats. (Don’t ask of what relevance the seats are in this review. I just thought that was necessary information I bet you do too.
I watched Fanaka Art’s ‘Ndeithia Murigo’ on 6th November 2016. The play gave a glimpse of the different neighbors that live in majority of plots in most Nairobi estates. Within the one hour forty five minutes, ‘the caretaker’, ‘the bachelor for life’, the neighborhood gossip’, the pregnant wife’, ‘the wife batterer’ and ‘the husband batterer’ had all come out to play. The play prompted some giggles here and there some chuckles in between but not the rib shattering play the October edition was.
My neighbor on asking her how the play was said “interesting though abrupt end”
The second run of ‘Grass is Greener’ by Heartstrings Entertainment ran on the 9th-13th December 2016.
I caught the Sunday 13th 3 pm show accompanied by my namesake Kui only that while my Wangui gets shortened to Kui, her Wangui gets shortened to Qui. Here is the thing, while for most of us higher education is what brought us to Nairobi, peeps like Qui were born and bred in the capital that is Nairobi. So while I may have ‘Nairobified’ my ways over time, the K and Q in our names is what marks as a reminder that I am Kui from Karatina while she is Qui from Nairobi (Hey Qui). Also my girl has been kicking cancer’s behind so she can dictate whatever name we call her. She says we call her Qui with XYZ, we call her Qui with XYZ.
Before we get to the second play, who remembers coming to Nairobi in those early days more of a parcel than a passenger?
At the departure terminus your mother insists to the driver he should get you to Tearoom and nowhere else. On the other end, your aunt or cousin is waiting for you at the exact point where you alight lest you take a few steps and disappear in the whole that is Nairobi.
Along the way you keep reminding the driver every two minutes that it’s Tea-Room na ‘asikupitishe’. When not reminding the driver you are on the passenger next to you asking “Tuko mbali na tearoom?”
The grass is greener gave a story of a married couple that splits up but continue living in the same house. The house is split with a barricade tape to 13A and 13B with each of them picking a side. Each of the two gets a rambunctious youngin to replace the other and together with their cheeky houseboy, the quarters turn to a full house of chaos that ends with the couple getting back together.
Two hours later I ask Qui how the play was.
Her reply in verbatim
“Well……. interesting. When watching a play you have to appreciate every movement on that stage. Nothing is random. All those movements are planned and coordinated. Do you know it takes 2.5-3 months to rehearse and stage a play?” Said like the actor she was a few years ago.
Before 2016 takes a bow “Tembelea theatre iliyo karibu na wewe”