Posts Tagged ‘plays’

PLAY REVIEW: NO DINNER FOR SINNERS

November 1, 2010
The set at No dinner for sinners

No dinner for sinners

Title: No dinner for sinners; a hilarous comedy

Theatre Group: Festival For Creative Arts

Director: Mbeki Mwalimu

Producer: Abuto Eliud

Venue: Kenya National Theatre

Dates: 29-10-10 to 31-10-10

Cast: Derrick Amunga plays Jim, Ciku Mburu is Edna the cleaning lady Hellena Waithera is Helen, Veronica Waceka & Juma williams are the Nxumas and Ummul Rajab plays Terri, Jim’s secretary.

The Plot

No dinner for sinners is a play about Jim, a manager at an investment company. Jim is hosting one of the big bosses from South Africa William Nxuma and his wife Nancy at his Nairobi flat. The thing is, Mr. Nxuma is the kind of man who believes in high morals; word is that he recently fired a fellow employee for having a live-in girlfriend. Jim assumes that his  live-in girlfriend and model Helen, will pose as his wife. However, they have a major argument at breakfast and Helen walks out on him, for good-she says.

Jim needs to keep his job hence he must find a wife for dinner. He frantically begins to call up his old girlfriends, but all of them are unavailable. Terri, his devoted secretary (and an aspiring actress) passes by his house so he can sign some documents. Terri is so into Jim and would do anything for him. Jim takes this opportunity to ask her to ‘act’ as his wife. She agrees, well- until she remembers she has a dress rehearsal in the evening.

Having ran out of options, Jim hires Edna, the cleaning lady even though he is not quite sure whether they’ll be convincing enough as a couple. The Nxumas make it to his flat and soon drama begins to unfold right under their noses. All the three ladies who Jim had asked to be his wife changed their minds and turn up at his flat around the same time. How does he handle the situation?

The Characters

The play opens with Jim and Helen having breakfast and then having an argument that sees Helen move-out. At one point, I was beginning to wonder whether this really was a comedy. All this changed when Edna, played by Ciku Mburu, came into the picture. I could hear and feel the difference with the audience too. With a very heavy ‘local accent’, Edna was the most beloved of the characters. She was indeed funny in a way most Kenyans would relate to-what with her hair, outfit and language. Her hair looked like an old-fashioned not-very-well-done Afro and she was wearing a sundress and (take this….) multi-coloured socks. That really cracked us up! She’d even respond in those ukuyo-like ways ‘Eeh!!’.I recall this comment she made to Jim on having to act as his wife, “If we are going to act married, you’ll have to learn to do what I say.” A comment that led to a discussion with friends later which I hereby conclude, ‘The wife really is the ‘boss’ of the home’.

Derrick Amunga, Juma Williams & Veronica Waceke were also in character, so was Ummul Rajab (who was recently crowned Best Supporting Actress at Kalasha Awards for her part in Ndoto za Elibidi). Ummul plays Terri, a very bubbly character who brings out her attraction to her boss in a most comical way. I think I should say here that she’s got that blend of childish yet sexy..and the eye-glasses kinds helped with the professional aspect. And the outfits those girls wore were very revealing- not that we minded. Some of us are hot legs and butt visual seekers…hahaha!!

The Moments

Some of the most memorable (and catchy moments) from the play include

-Edna appearing in the sundress, coloured socks and weird hairstyle thinking that she looks like a ‘million-dollars!’

-Its interesting how Terri talks about ‘The naked dance’, a play  she’s part of.

-Terry suddenly appearing and announcing her love for Jim as he’s trying to explain why there are two ‘wives’ in his house. Worsening his already tarnished reputation.

-Edna going all out and deep into religious talk with Nxuma as Jim stares in horror.

-Helen hiding behind the sofa half-clothed and Jim having to say that she was the cleaning lady.

-The sound effect (of something exploding) at the end of the play. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was caught off-guard by that heavy sound signifying the reality of Murphy’s Law; everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

In Conclusion

For me, this play was proof of how we put ourselves into murky situations we’d have avoided in the first place. If you’ve got proverbial liars for friends, make sure they watch this the next time it shows. I however feel that if the characters got to use wittier remarks (with a local touch I must insist)  we would truly have applauded FCA for making it the comedy its supposed to be. But sadly, its not. I mean, if the audience is only laughing at Edna’s remarks and situations, what would you say?

I also felt that the sofas/ furniture (provided by Odds & Ends) was a bit restrictive. I’d have loved to see the movements and the socks more. As in, a lot of action was going on behind the sofas. Maybe opt for furniture a bit less bulky/ big so the audience can see more?

That aside, No dinner by sinners by FCA is a very entertaining play that’s worthy of your time!

Just my views……………………….

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Morning glories, live matches and plays to tickle

October 12, 2010

This is how my weekend went

Awesome Night, Morning Glory

Friday evening. Was supposed to meet up Casey and go dancing. For some reason, I end up spending a laid-back evening at home, prepared a vegan meal ‘spiked’ with all things super and lethal, a very cool charming person; all the while sampling Stan’s Kenya Debut Album. The night was awesome, morning glory even better.

My first live match

Satuarday 4 p.m. Went to watch the Kenya (Harambee Stars) vs Uganda (Uganda Cranes) game at the Nyayo National Stadium with my gal pal. The queue was so long, we had to use our feminine charm. We ‘cut’ the line and when some people noticed, they were like, ‘Let them pass, they are just kids…’  Suprising because anyone else who was ‘cutting’ the line was being subjected to abuse by both the crowd and security at the gate. Makes sense though, my pal and I are like barely 5′ 1′, we are in our mid twenties but we do pass for high school kids.

A bunch of these four caucasians were however not so lucky. They came straight to the front to ‘cut’ the line (after bribing security) and were booed, abused and pushed around by the crowd. There was such a fiasco as everyone tried to ensure they did not get in. One of the very outspoken women was even secretly asked to shut up and she would also be let in first. She declined. I later heard that plenty of people were not able to get into the stadium and that the tickets had been sold out.

“No water bottles allowed,’ we were informed after the ticket check. So there everyone was trying to finish up their water, soda etc. For some reason, I was let in with my water bottle, my pal, who had a soda bottle wasn’t. Could it be that there’s a high possibility of people using water bottles as weapons?

Just like live music, I really enjoyed this live match. I liked the energy, especially the crowds’ >mwanzo the famous ‘wave’, and how in unison) everyone demanded for some players to play like Blackberry Odhiambo, the groundnuts kids were selling and the soccer skills some of the kids were displaying at half-time.  As for the game, I’m still very disappointed there were NO goals to write home about.

A play to laugh at myself

Sunday 3 p.m. Play at Alliance Francaise. 10 Kenyan Commandments. Promulgation reloaded.

Was once again with my gal pal. Churchill (Dan Ndambuki) and his team are just the ones! Each of those scenes were very typically Kenyan. We loved how the cast just changed on stage (dimmed lights of course). And did I mention how hilarious the narrator was. Loved how he unleashed his ‘Luo’ dance moves on stage.

A scene that caught me off guard n’ I totally loved this: The setting is a certain government office. The civil servants are huko stressing out the people as they waited to be served. One woman had had enough and she just snapped (Translated), ‘Do you think you are the only one’s who can go/act mad?’ She proceeded to demand for what she wanted and got it-leaving everyone at the scene silenced and shocked.

Every single scene did hit a chord and true; we Kenyans laugh that hard when watching such local productions because we are laughing at ourselves, because we have found ourselves in those situations.


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