Inspired by traditional animal stories from Africa, Tinga Tinga Tales – The Musical is a gloriously interactive live show designed to entertain the whole family. The brains behind the story telling fete is multi-award winning creator, writer and director, Claudia Lloyd, who has the first-fully equipped animation studio in East Africa.
“Eight years ago, I came up with Tinga Tinga Tales as an animation and sought to make it a musical after the great response we got,” says Claudia.
The renowned director came up with the idea while she was learning Kiswahili and started collecting traditional animal creations tales from all over Africa. She directed it as celebrated musician Eric Wainaina, composed and musically directed the show produced by his wife Sheba Hirst. Tinga Tinga Tales, which is currently airing on a local station, has garnered a global following and is being aired in 27 countries.
“Together with my team, we selected the best in the industry, both actors and artistes and we put together the musical,” speaking on the cast selection.
The tales centre on a magical journey where they sing with the Dawn Chorus, interact with their favourite characters from the TV series, help Giraffe get out of a sticky situation and delight in seeing Chameleon transform into the ‘Master of Colour’ before their very eyes! They top it all with their Festival of Tricks where every member of the cast sings, dances, laughs and cries, but most of all, they have a Tinga Tinga-tastic time.
The musicical celebrates and showcases the very best of local talent that includes the legendary Eric Wainaina who plays the role of a funky monkey, soul diva Atemi as the hippo that likes Eddie Kimani, the lion.
The spectacular Elsaphan Njora lands the role of the tortoise who has a pidgin undertone accent that makes the storytelling even more enticing. The cast is backed by a talented band comprising Victor Kimetto, Benjamin Kabaseke, Tetu Shani and Ted Mwangi.
After-one-and-a half hours, you will be sure to note that the musical is nothing short of excellence. The vocal prowess is well felt and the audience is involved quite a few stunts.
Tinga Tinga Tales will be opening the Autumn Season of the New Victory Theatre, on Broadway, New York, on October 9 and run for a fortnight.