Wednesday, 31 July 2019

THEATRE IN ABUNDANCE THE REST OF 2019


                                                          A scene from Heartstrings' recent play; it's now doing 'Double Trouble'

By Margaretta wa Gacheru (posted 31 July 2019)

While Heartstrings’ ‘Double Trouble’ runs this weekend at Nairobi Cinema and the ‘improv’ team of ‘Because you said so’ has a show next Saturday, 10th August, at The Junction, there’s lots happening on the horizon in Kenyan theatre.
Kenyan writers, directors and producers have gotten in gear, preparing shows for now as well as the rest of this year and next.
In the immediate, next Wednesday, 7th August, Kenyatta University’s Dr Emmanuel Shikuku has revived David Mulwa’s classic script, ‘Redemption’. It will only be staged for one day, at 3pm and 6pm at Kenya Cultural Centre’s Ukumbi Mdogo.
                                                       A scene from an earlier Fanaka Arts Kikuyu comedy

Kikuyu theatre is also alive and well as Fanaka Arts Theatre is staging ‘Hihinya Ihuha’ the following weekend, from 9th August at Alliance Francaise. And the weekend after that, on Friday, 16th August, Prevail Arts Company will revive Martin Kigondu’s ‘Matchstick Men’ also at Ukumbi Mdogo.

                                                Bilal Mwaura (R) will costar in Martin Kigondu's Matchstick Men

As exciting as all this upcoming activity is, what may be the theatrical event of the year is Hearts of Art’s original creation of ‘Wangari Maathai the Musical.’ It certainly must be one of the more ambitious projects that HOA’s founder and playwright Walter Sitati has embarked on. But he has also received lots of support both from his theatre company and Gilbert Lukalia who Sitati says came up with the bright idea first.
“I had actually been thinking about such a project, but when Gilbert brought it up, I knew we had to do it,” says Sitati who is responsible for virtually all the scripts that Hearts of Art has produced since he formed the company shortly after completing a degree from Moi University.
                                                 Gilbert Lukalia will direct 'Wangari Maathai' the Musical

Gilbert is directing the show. But as it’s scheduled to open in November, he and Walter are still in the process of casting. In any case, this is a show to highly anticipate.
The other amazing news comes on the heels of ‘Sarafina’s finale last Sunday night. At the insistence of the Minister of Culture, Dr. Amina Mohamed, Nairobi Performing Arts Studio is bringing back the musical! The earliest booking Sarafina’s producer-director Stuart Nash could get at KNT is 4th-6th October.
     Minister of Culture, Amb. Amina Mohamed (R) insisted Sarafina be restaged after watching it the last night of its run at KNT. It will happen first weekend in Octover. (L) Artist Geraldine Robarts.

So be prepared to get tickets early since many were turned away last Sunday. They are likely to be first in line.
Finally, NPAS also plans to put on Nairobi Half-Life and Lion King early next year. And this October, NPAS brings ‘Blood Brothers the Musical’ to University of Nairobi.
  '                    Wangari Maathai the Musical' is being scripted by Walter Sitati (L) and directed by Gilbert Lukalia (R)

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