Written by Faith Oneya

Disclaimer: I am going to wax lyrical about this play. It is an absolutely biased review . I have not been paid to do the review(Kazi ya Mungu). Neither have I received complimentaries!😉

Given my past experiences with Kenyan-themed  Heartstrings plays,  I had expected their latest play to be ‘A Kenyan Christmas!’.I was at once pleasantly surprised and relieved that it was not.Their latest play ‘are you a HORSE or a DONKEY’ will dispel any preconceived notions of  a ‘typical Heartstrings experence’.

In my view, this judicious play not only proves that the Heartstrings ‘family’ are truly au fait with the Kenyan political climate but that they also care about the people that they make laugh and are willing to compromise a little on slaptick humour to cleverly interweave messages of peace, responsibility and a tribeless Kenya .

 

Not fully convinced yet? Here are four solid reasons that should make you watch it.

 

Number 1:They have a hilarious female standup comedian: Caroline Tharau warms up the stage in a what appears to be a fierce feminist stand straight after the narrator cum comedian Vincent Muasya (aka Chipukeezy) engages the audience in his laid-back ‘mchongowano’ , slightly self-depreciating fashion. In my opinion, Caroline Tharau’s funniest line is “I can write a man a script on how to seduce me’….and she finishes off with the line that she has always wanted to hear from a Kenyan man but has never heard…“Si nikulipie fare”. Then again, you have to have been there get the context!

Source: Heartstrings Kenya’s Facebook Page

Number 2: They have a live cartoonist who constantly draws the caricatures that form the backdrop of the play. This is a first! Armed with a chalk and what appears to be a dirty piece of cloth which he used to rub off the chalk drawings, the cartoonist quietly comes on and off the stage to do his thing.Heartstrings manages to deliver a dynamic backdrop as the artists rubs off the chalk drawings and introduces new ones as the scenes change. The stage comes alive and it makes it very easy to follow the play.

Photo: #NowShowing #HorsesAndDonkeys...today till Sunday. ...Weekdays 630pm Weekends 3pm & 630pm. Tickets 500/.0721608656.hilarity redefined!
A scene from the play
Source: Heartstrings Kenya Facebook Page

Number 3: Nairobi Half Life’s Paul Ogola graces the show. Heartstrings Kenya has invested in new talent as a number of new faces are witnessed. They do a sterling job but each production has a star and Paul Ogola is undeniably the star here. As the play begins, Paul Ogola is standing in the queue with other passengers waiting for the Syokimau train in vain. He is the agent provocateur here and engages the stammering ticketing agent in a hilarious battle of words. He asks him: “Is the machine slow ama ni wewe?”Paul changes his roles throughout the play with the seamless-ness of a chameleon as he effortlessly and skillfully delivers his lines.

Scene One: Paul Ogola at the front of the queue hassling the ticketing agent…
On the far right is Muasya.
Source: Heartstrings Facebook Page

 

Number 4: You will laugh and laugh at yourself. This play reveals yourself to yourself in the only way a Heartstrings Kenya play can do. Your ignorance about the new developments like the Syokimau Railway station, your blind loyalty to politicians and their ridiculous coalitions (the baby that you will name “SyoKibaki”) among others. No politician is spared here.Nobody is beyond ridicule. No silly attitudes are tolerated. You will have to watch and see how yourself is revealed to yourself!

 

Number 5: For once, they have invested in props and they keep time! They have not only participated in job creation (There is need to acknowledge the carpenter engaged to deliver on the props) but they have also realized that 3-hour long plays are simply 3 hours too long!


#NowShowing #HorsesAndDonkeys…today till Sunday. …Weekdays 630pm Weekends 3pm & 630pm. Tickets 500/.0721608656.hilarity redefined!