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Stage flair at its best as national drama fair starts

Michael Muraya @Michael_muraya

The City is experiencing an influx of talented artists from different parts of the country who have converged to light up artistic fire at the 59th edition of the Kenya National Drama and Film Festival taking place in Nairobi.

School buses with heaps of stage backdrops and rostrums affixed at overhead carrier, added to the city traffic on Monday for the national fete running across four venues; Lenana School, Moi Girls High School, State House Girls and Dagoretti High School up to April 13.

The fete kicked off on Tuesday morning with a dramatic, yet tragic comedy play by Menengai High School from Nakuru County, entitled Gloria’s Glory.

The play, scripted by award winning playwright Silas Temba and directed by Michael Kiguta, left the audience in stitches but at the same time, pensive as it delved into the thorny issue of poor parenting in a permissive age.

It told the story of Gloria, a bright student, whose absent parents dumped her in formal education and rarely had time for her.

Distraught, she found solace in her lover Alex. However, as fate would have it, the teenage affair turned sour when she realised that Alex had put her in the family way and the “unforgiving responsibilities of parenthood” were now beckoning at a young age! But just when the pair thought the worst had happened, fate had more in store as they soon found out that they were actually related.

The cast included Hellen Thuo as Gloria and Jessey Thuku as Alex. Yesterday, action went on at Lenana School, where secondary schools are presenting their plays, with Eregi Girls from the Western region opening the stage in the morning session with a dramatic play entitled, Mirage at Dusk.

Kabare Girls High School graced the stage afterwards with a hilarious narrative entitled The Toilet. The last item on stage in the morning session was Machakos Boys High School, who presented a play by Steven Vala entitled The Inferno.

The stage piece highlighted the drawbacks bullying in school, through the story of a Form One student who was viscously assaulted by seniors and fell into depression, prompting him to start a dorm fire.

At the Dagoretti School hall, where colleges are staging their items, the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication staged two items, a narrative entitled State House Concert and a Swahili play dubbed Uhayawani.

The play chronicled the story of a greedy tycoon who grabbed communal land said to have gold and then forced the locals—who were evicted from the place—to mine the treasure.

More action is expected today with a particular buzz circling around Butere Girls, who staged the controversial play Shackles of Doom in 2013.

They will grace the stage today with a play entitled It is Well, scripted and directed by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala. This year’s theme is Enhancing National Cohesion and Integration through Theatre and Film.

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