The Eulogy of a Neat Man

(This review appeared in The East African 14th-20th December 2013 under the title Why must I have life if to live means to die?)   “Everything has been figured out, except how to live,” said French writer Jean-Paul Sartre. This was the theme of The Eulogy of a Neat Man, a one-man play written and…

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The Merry Wives of Our Windsor

(This review appeared in The East African 23rd-29th November 2013 under the title Hilarious Wanawake wa Heri) If ever there has been a first-rate example of theatricalism, then it is The Theatre Company’s production of Wanawake wa Heri wa Winsa. Translated into Kiswahili by Joshua Ogutu, this is not merely a translation but also an…

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To Marie With Love

(This review appeared in The East African 16th-22nd November 2013 under the title Abortion, Birth Control and the Enjoyment of Sex) To Marie With Love, a one-woman play by Pauline Devaney opened at the Austin Room of Braeburn Theatre on Friday 8th November for a run of four shows. The play is about Marie Carmichael…

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Apples From the Desert at Norfolk

(This review appeared in The East African 2nd-8th November 2013 under the title Apples from the Desert in Nairobi) At the Norfolk Hotel on Sunday 13th October, H.E. Ambassador Gil Haskel of Israel made an astute remark: he said that there isn’t a convergence of cultures that’s more poignant than what is found in theatre….

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French Elements

(This review appeared in The East African 26th October-1st November 2013) Elements, the new play by John Sibi-Okumu premiered at Alliance Française on 18th October 2013. As a Chevalier des PalmesAcademiques– an award given to him by the French government in 2002 for the promotion of French- it should probably come as no surprise that…

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Steel Magnolias at Phoenix

(This review appeared in The East African 5th-11th October 2013 under the title Comedy of Errors on Stage) Robert Harling’sSteel Magnolia,opened on Friday 20th September for a two-week run at Phoenix Theatre. Harling wrote the play in 1987 as a way of dealing with the pain caused by the death of his sister, who suffered…

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Adaptations On The Kenyan Stage: The Good, The Bad and the Very Good

(This article appeared in The East African 28th September-4th October 2013 under the title Adaptations Gone Bad) The term‘literary adaptation’, often refers to the transposition a work of art from one medium into another. More common nowadays are novel-to-screen adaptations but novel-to-stage adaptations still hold an important place in literary discourse. However, on a Kenyan…

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For Coloured Girls

(This review appeared in The East African 3rd-9th August 2013 under the title Young, Gifted, Black and Female) “I found God in myself and I loved Her fiercely,” is the mantra, sang in a cappella, that ends the performance of For Coloured Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When The Rainbow is Enuf, by Ntokaze Shange,…

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The Meta- morphic and Elusive Kenyan Middle Class

While Seth Busolo’s Poison Ivy, which premiered at Alliance Française on 8th February, depicts the daily ordeals of a middle class Nairobi family, John Sibi-Okumu’s Meetings, which premiered at Phoenix Theatre on 15th February takes a macro view of the Kenyan middle class. Meetings, is very much like Sibi-Okumu’s first play, Role Play, in its…

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Whole- some Bourgeois Drama

(This review appeared in The East African 16th-22nd February 2013 under the title A Meddling Family and A Thankless Audience) Poison Ivy, Seth Busolo’s ninth full-length play, a Wholesome Entertainment production, directed by Pauline Komu, premiered at Alliance Française on Friday 8th February. However, it is not being a prolific playwright- nine plays in three…

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A Time When Theatre Sizzled: A tribute to Francis Imbuga

A slightly edited version of this feature appeared in The EastAfrican 8th -14th December 2012 under the title Betrayed by Politics Mulili: This, that even although majority lecturers at Kafira University be expatriate, that not his business. He go there to learn and not to criticise policy that he know nothing about. Mulili’s words in…

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The Maribor Theatre Festival 2012

(This review appeared in The EastAfrican 10th-16th November 2012) Click here to read my review and other critics’ reviews in the festival bulletin. The 47th Maribor Theatre Festival in Slovenia, described as “a brilliant projection of Slovenian theatrical essence,” ended on 26th October. Maribor, one of the two 2012 European capitals of culture, showcased a…

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