This weekend and the next few, there will be no shortage of theatrical entertainment on show in Nairobi.
This past weekend will be a bit difficult to top since there were powerful performances.
They came from both Aperture Africa Productions staging Robin Hood the Musical and the Kenya International Theatre Festival where Kenyatta University students performed Francis Imbuga’s The Successor, Reagan Ochoo’s The Mirage and Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband has Gone Mad Again. Meanwhile, troupes from Uganda and South Africa gave spine-tingling performances as well. Nonetheless, the Nairobi Performing Arts Studio hasn’t let us down once since it came into being nearly two years ago when the British director-actor Stuart Nash got together with Dr Edwin Gichangi to start a theatre school at Kenya Cultural Centre.
Tonight Grease, an American rock musical, opens at the Kenya National Theatre and it should be heaps of fun to watch. With the lead characters being played by Kaz Lucas and Elsaphan Njoka, the show can hardly go wrong. They are sure-fire professionals who can sing, dance and act which are talents essential to making the show dazzle and delight. But so are the likes of Nice Githinji, Nick Ndeda and Ian Mbugua — who’s been a busy man, working on two shows at once!. Grease will run through this Sunday night with matinees both weekend days. It will be back again December 8-10.
Mbugua has been working closely with Susan Bantu at Brookhouse School where he teaches drama and she’s directing Tennessee Williams’ hard-core modern classic, The Glass Menagerie. The show opened Wednesday night at the school. It will run through Saturday night so you had better get tickets right away.
Then next weekend, Martin Kigondu’s Prevail Arts Productions returns to the Daystar University stage with Martin’s latest script entitled What Happens in the Night. This is a case of the word getting round after the play was staged just once last month. So Martin, the director-producer and script writer, had to comply with popular demand and bring the show back on Saturday, December 16, at 5pm.
The other important performance that should not be missed is by the doyenne of storytelling, Maimouna Jallow. She’ll perform in the finale of Re-imagining Storytelling on Thursday night, November 30, from 8pm at The Alchemist in Wetlands. Finally, Heartstrings presents Nobody is Leaving at Alliance Francaise on December 6.