A homegrown Kenyan thriller titled 'Betrayal' was staged for the first time at the Alliance Francaise in Nairobi last week.
The play written by Eliud Abuto and Peace Mbegei of Festival of Creative Arts (FCA) is set in a hotel on the luxurious white beaches of Mombasa.
The suspense drama features three couples - John (Nick Ndeda) and Sophia (Diana Mulwa); Tim (Nick Mutuma) and Magda (May Wairimu); and Kevin (Robert Agengo) and Lisa (Janet Kirina) - at a holiday retreat.
Some of them have been emotionally indifferent in their publicly celebrated but surreptitiously rocky marriages for quite some time.
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But even before they can begin to rekindle their love for each other, issues of commitment, infidelity and betrayal emerge, as secrets are revealed with tragic consequences.
But the innuendos and bare-knuckled confrontations are only just beginning. The hotel manager, Ricky (Kirumburu Ng'ang'a), and beautiful waitress named Wendy (Liz Ngugi), aided by the multi-faceted security officer Jomo (Martin Githinji), have a plot that will throw everything into disarray and complicate matters further.
The cast was something to behold as the actors gave the characters a depth, nuance and substance that kept the audience on the edge of their seats.
After directing and producing volumes of British and American farces and comedies, Abuto has now become the king of suspense on the Kenyan stage.
'Betrayal' tells the audience how earnings among couples can make or break a relationship, especially when one partner loses a job.
"We thought the British and American stuff was a little remote in sensitivity to our own realities here. That is why I sat down to do the story and I invited others, including the cast and the crew, to exchange ideas that have resulted in a beautiful end product for our audiences," said Abuto.
The play is set to run again at the same venue next week.