The Star (Nairobi)

7 December 2012

Kenya: Cinderella With a Twist

opinion

Last weekend I had the chance to watch the pantomime Cinderella at Braeburn Theatre on the invitation of my children's aunt who was part of the show.

I have always loved watching plays because I used to love acting in them too. In high school I was in A Midsummer Night's Dream that was directed by the late Nigel Slade and I think that was the first time ever I got my picture in the paper, for all the right reasons, I hasten to add!

So we trooped over to the theatre on Sunday and settled down to watch the play. First of all, I love it when plays like these have local references and are adapted to suit the audiences with lines and jokes appreciated by the locals who are watching.

The story was the classic fairy-tale Cinderella and there was a twist to it. While they stuck to the main storyline, I loved the adaptation of it. The cast and crew consisted of parents, teachers and of course students from the school.

The costumes were lovely and the background was fantastic. My favourite surprise in the whole show was Cinderella's carriage to the ball. On the stage was a rather posh 4x4 in which Cinderella sat and was driven off to the ball! The audience, including my kids, were left gasping with delight.

I'm one who laughs without stifling myself (well, most of the time) and I must say at some points during the play I laughed until I had tears running down my face.

The ones who actually stole the show were the two ugly stepsisters and the equally horrendous stepmother. From the time they stepped on stage and were hissed at by the audience, right to the end when they were trying on the slipper, these three characters had me holding on to my sides.

My favourite ugly sister was the one who would menacingly come down the steps to 'threaten' the audience every time we booed and hissed.

I loved their interaction with the audience, coming down and making us laugh even more. Honestly speaking, if you missed this play, you missed something awesome.

I feel theatre is such a dying art these days. Not many people seem to put up plays. I really wish there would be more of these things happening around here. I would love for my kids to watch more plays, in fact I would love to be able to take part in one myself!

Do try and enjoy the world of theatre. It's different, entertaining and so much more enriching than wasting your life in front of the TV or Wii or wasting hours on Facebook.

Months of rehearsals and the fulfilling bow at the finale are totally well worth it. Look at the papers and watch out for listings for different plays that are put up often at the very few theatres and cultural centres that we have. Believe me - you will never regret it.

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