URBAN THEATRE SCENE THRIVES IN NAIROBI/// By margaretta wa gacheru. Published in Zuqka August 9, 2013/// While theatre activity is going strong in Nakuru where the Kenya Schools & Colleges Drama Festival is under way, several professional and semi-professional shows have either opened this weekend, are opening next week or are ongoing as in Heartstrings Kenya’s hilarious new production, Kenya Pigs, Cats and Dogs.. At Kenya National theatre, Better Pill Productions opened last night in Man of Steal and will run throughout the weekend. Devised by the troupe the drama is all about one Kenyan town controlled by one small Big Man who controls all the vital services in the area, including the transportation and water systems as well as the bank. Okello has only one want and that the most beautiful Christian girl in town, Charity. She of course is inaccessible initially, but you’ll have to go see the play to find out what happens to the town, the Big Man and the clever girl Charity. Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the Arts Canvas production of For Colored Girls is happening at the Michael Joseph Centre on August 16th. Mumbi Kaigwa’s troupe of seven amazing Kenyan women will also be performing tonight at the Karen Club, but as it’s a members’ club you’ll need to go with someone who pays their dues. During their two week run at Phoenix, For Colored Girls performed almost every night to packed houses. So the decision to extend the show offers the public who may have missed seeing Mumbi and company set the Phoenix stage on fire (figuratively speaking) now have the chance to see the revival of a big Black American hit from the Sixties prove that a brilliant script and a powerful cast can make a show feel brand new. Meanwhile, over at Phoenix Theatre, Backlash, a script by Kenya’s own Cajeton Boy opened last night starring Nick Ndeda, Fridah Muhindi, Victoria Gichora, David Opondoe and Veronica Waceke. The other show that has an extended run is the Heartstrings Kenya production of Kenya Pigs, Cats and Dogs. Consistent with its past performance, Heartstrings mixes social criticism with sassy and sometimes silly ensemble work that never fails to entertain full house crowds. The butt of their humor this time round is the Marriage Act about which both women and men complain about. But the ‘benefits’ of the new Bill are also exposed, benefits will could serve both sexes’ interest, or maybe not. Next weekend, its Hearts of Art that opens this coming Friday night at Alliance Francaise. Walter Sitati once again shows his creative ‘stuff’, having not only scripted “What is your Price?’


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