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Art

A Rich Night of Two Productions

Aleya Kassam
Aleya Kassam: Playwright, actor and media wizard. PHOTO | MARGARETTA WA GACHERU 

Too Early for Birds hasn’t been on the theatre scene for long. But their impact has been pronounced and profound as they’re one very experimental theatre group committed to telling original African stories in their own way.

They’ve been celebrating local heroes like Timothy Njoya and unmasking colonial history as when they shared the genesis of McMillan Library at the launch of the Book Bunk in early June. Now the third edition of Too Early for Birds celebrates Kenyan women heroes at Kenya National Theatre from tonight through Sunday evening.

Brazen: Uninvisibling Invisible Women is the ambitious project of brilliant Kenyan women, three of whom have created the script which they’ll also perform with four more female actors to produce a show that’s bound to be steeped in woman power. Aleya Kassam is a playwright, actor and all-round media wizard who hatched the original plan to invite two other brilliant women writers, Anne Moraa and Laura Ekumbo, to work with her to fashion an unprecedented production by and about bountifully bright, bold and brazen women who deserve their rightful place in history and in the hearts of every women and man who cares for gender equity and social justice across Kenya and worldwide.

Aleya, Anne and Laura will share the KNT stage with four more exceptional women actors, namely Sitawa Namwalie, Suki Wanza, Nyokabi Macharia and Mercy Mbithe. As tickets are selling fast, one needs to act swiftly to ensure you see a show sure to be unlike any other we’ve seen in Nairobi. Meanwhile, yet another brave, brilliant and brazen Kenyan woman, Mbeki Mwalimu, directs Justin Miriichi’s new script, Legally Insane, which also opens tonight at Alliance Francaise.

Mbeki also founded the new theatre company, Back to Basics, which is playing its part to promote new scripts by Kenyan writers like Miriichi who also wrote Strangers by Blood which B2B staged earlier this year.

Tonight’s production has some similarities with Strangers by Blood.

But nobody’s likely to mind Gilbert Lukalia coming back as the bossy patriarch, Bilal Mwaura back as his conniving son and even Nick Ndeda returning as the Dad’s devoted driver.

But unlike Strangers, Legally Insane will focus more on the mother’s subversive strengths in scheming to undermine her spouse’s tyrannical hold on the family. Wanjiku Mburu will play the mother this time round.

Plus Mwaura looks like he’ll be an only child.

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