WRITTEN BY: Seth Busolo
DIRECTED BY: Pauline Komu
PRODUCED BY: Daisy Busolo, and Samuel Kyama
Reviewed by Faith Oneya
Poison Ivy is not your typical Nairobian play (by typical I mean the hilarious plays that the wildly famous Heartstrings plays have constantly treated the taste of Nairobi theater lovers to). The drama-comedy(or dram comedy) is the work of an original script(forget the adaptations that is the crop of Phoenix plays, Festival of Creative Arts Plays, Culture Spill Productions among others) by a Kenyan Seth Busolo.
The synopsis on the promotional material reads rather blandly: “They call her Cute Ivy… Pretty Ivy … Sweet Ivy … However Her Brothers wife calls her … POISON IVY. This is the story of a young married couple whose bond is quickly tested by the intrusion of a sister.” It speaks nothing of the impeccable acting, the superb storyline and the entertaining dialogue that makes up the play.
The lead role of Ivy is delivered meticulously. No line, no movement, no gesture seems to go to waste. To her grace and the chagrin of the audience, Ivy’s brother delivers a ‘hot’ slap that reddens her cheeks. The painful facial expressions coming from her in this scene are not wasted.
“Was the slap real?” I ask her later, just to confirm my fears.
Pointing to her swollen cheeks, she says: “Yes.”
“How many more of those do you have to endure?”
“And you could not use one of the noise machines.”
“We tried but it did not work out.”
And you thought acting was easy…
The set is spectacularly decorated, and the actors fittingly dressed.
The couple takes us through the journey of their young union as they struggle to find the sense of balance fulfill the needs of their families.
This is one of those plays where you can take your parents, children, boss and others without cringing at any inappropriate.
Make sure to catch the show next time!