Students stage professional act
By Kiundu Waweru
It is a Friday evening, with a lot going on in the entertainment industry. I have four films to choose from the Kenya International Film Festival; and a play to catch at the Kenya National Theatre. I have also been invited to a students’ play at the Oshwal Academy.
Naturally, I am sceptical about the students’ play.
But after much soul searching, I realise I can still watch the KNT play on Saturday. I set off for Oshwal Junior High Academy auditorium. Before the play starts, the Senior High Headmaster, Mr Vimal Shah, warns the audience to brace for laughter galore.
The play, It Runs in the Family, opens in a doctor’s common room of a London Hospital. The set does not change for the entire two hours split into two acts. Dr David Mortimore, played by Sahil Dhirajlal Shah is rehearsing his speech for the prestigious Ponsonby Lecture, which could just land him a knighthood. In mid sentence while rehearsing his speech, which we later learn from his wife he’d been reciting the previous evening end to end, his colleagues interrupt him, offering comic relief.
Then old flame bursts in, showing up after "18 years and nine months," when she worked as a nurse of Dr Mortimore. Apparently, their hanky panky bore an "illicit son" (we are not sure he fathered the boy) who will soon burst in the room in the hot pursuit of the police.
Mortimore, who did not know of the son’s existence until now, tries to cover up the brewing scandal in his most important day. His wife is present, and the boss is on his back, demanding an audience with him before the speech. Things get out of control in this hilarious high velocity funny farce as Mortimore enlists the help of the hospital staff.
In the ensuing chaos, his best friend, Dr Bonny Hubert (Mohammed Omar Foulser) is passed off as the boy’s father, he is reluctant but he plays along, at the same time trying to seduce the boy’s mother boy who has turned up in a red-hot dress and an easy aura. The hospital’s no nonsense matron gets drawn in and she falls off the window ledge with a hypodermic needle in her rump. It gets better, (or is it worse?) as several doctors end up in nurse uniforms, and the police sergeant, here to arrest the boy, is taken for a ride.
The play, originally written by Ray Cooney has more twists and turns than the upcoming Thika Super Highway. The Senior High (A Level) students portray superior acting skills complete with a queen’s accent. The outstanding character is Dr Bonny, (Omar) who at one time dresses as a woman, only to end up looking like a drug queen. He is wearing suspenders that he occasionally pulls to emphasise a point, an act that enhances his comic appearance.
Mr Amar Desai, Mr S K Chege and Ms Vaishali Morjaria directed the play, staged for parents, teachers and students.
Proceeds from the play went to a charitable cause, Drop of Humanity.
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