Went to the Phoenix Theatre in Nairobi for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that it has taken me 10 years to get there! AND the only reason we went was because a friend had block booked the place for his birthday. What a fab idea by the way..
We really enjoyed a play called ‘Meetings’ by John Sibi-Okumu. It was a fairly politically motivated play pitched in time for Nairobi’s elections – with themes of family, tolerance and reconciliation. I was also tickled to see all the main characters appearing on one of the IEBC local TV adverts promoting a peaceful election. The standard of acting was really good. Having sat nearly on top the cast for two and a half hours in the basement level x120 seat auditorium, I feel that I now know them quite intimately. Meanwhile, my husband was a bit distracted during the evening because he was on the look out for fire exits.
An added bonus was to be sitting inside the now famous set from the very successful, home-grown Kenyan movie; ‘Nairobi half Life’ (the main protagonist of the film has aspirations of being an actor and works with the Phoenix Players in the same theatre at The Professional Centre; between hustling on the streets of Nairobi trying to eke out a living and getting in trouble with the cops. If you’ve seen it, then I don’t know about how that movie made you feel? Despair and hope in equal measure? Funny and tragic at the same time?
I’m not a theatre buff (obviously) but it was a good evening and a thought provoking night out. Something a bit different to do in Nairobi.