Heart­strings hits home with new com­edy ‘Kenya for Sale’

Business Daily (Kenya) - - WEEKENDER - Mar­garetta wa Gacheru mar­garetta.gacheru@gmail.com

Kenya for Sale was set to open this past Wed­nes­day night at Al­liance Fran­caise. In­stead, Heart­strings Kenya will open tonight and run through Sun­day.

Sadly we lost chances to have two ex­tra nights of see­ing the lat­est Heart­strings com­edy due to un­nec­es­sary reschedul­ing. This was a loss for Heart­strings’ loyal au­di­ences who pre­fer com­ing week­nights.

In con­trast to HS loy­al­ists, there are some Kenyan crit­ics who think this in­ge­nious the­atre com­pany draws house-full crowds just be­cause they are sup­pos­edly “rib-tick­ling” and con­sis­tently “hi­lar­i­ous” in their out­put of shows. The troupe is crit­i­cised be­cause they are “teach­ing” lo­cal au­di­ences that the­atre is only about en­ter­tain­ment, not en­light­en­ment or in-depth ex­plo­ration of im­por­tant and timely so­cial is­sues.

On the con­trary, Heart­strings’ shows are in­deed en­ter­tain­ing, pro­vid­ing “a laugh-a-minute”, es­pe­cially for lo­cals who un­der­stand all the nu­anced ref­er­ences em­bed­ded in the scripts that re­late to to­day’s and yes­ter­day’s is­sues, head­lines and so­cial me­dia talk­ing points.

One ge­nius thing that Sammy Mwangi and his crew un­der­stand about en­ter­tain­ment and en­light­en­ing

“ed­u­ca­tion” is that it is eas­ier to get through to peo­ple through hu­mour rather than heavy polemics, po­lit­i­cal ti­rades or le­gal­is­tic speeches. It’s eas­ier to point at Kenyan peo­ple’s foibles and psy­cho­log­i­cal flaws, weav­ing them into comedic scenes.

Sammy has a knack for tick­ling peo­ple’s funny bones while si­mul­ta­ne­ously ad­dress­ing so­cial trau­mas and dra­mas that would oth­er­wise stay buried and un­ad­dressed ex­cept when they are shared with peo­ple’s in­ti­mate part­ners or po­lit­i­cal peers.

So the crit­ics of Heart­strings need to go see their shows, in­clud­ing Kenya for sale .

Ac­cord­ing to Sammy who de­vised this script to­gether with his gifted team, the show is lit­er­ally about the coun­try be­ing on sale. Set at the Coast where there’s a big expo un­der way, one will see how will­ing lo­cals are to sell off es­sen­tials out of a short-sighted sense of value (mean­ing mon­e­tary).

I don’t know how the show gets re­solved as I have not seen it yet, but Sammy takes note of the fact that ex­pats ap­par­ently adore this coun­try more than lo­cals do; or at least that would seem to be the case, es­pe­cially now when po­lit­i­cal ten­sions could do en­dur­ing dam­age to our beloved Kenya.

The Heart­strings ensem­ble in­cludes Vic­tor Nyaata, Jane Wan­gari, Cyprian Osoro, Si­las Ojijo and oth­ers. Mean­while, Sammy di­rects as­sisted by Ndeng’a.


THESPIANS The cast of “Kenya for Sale” (L R): Vic­tor Nyaata, Jane Wan­jiru, Cyprian Osoro and Si­las Ojijo.

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