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Vivian only lady in 'What Are The Odds?'

 Vivian only lady in 'What Are The Odds?' (Photo: V. Nyawira)

Celebrated and award-winning actress Vivian Nyawira joins seasoned thespian Ogutu Muraya and other big names in Malindi today for ‘What are the Odds’ theatre show.

The Kenya Theater Awards winner – who has graced most of the big theatre productions in the past years will be playing ‘Hide’ during the play being hosted at the Cleopatra Theatre, located on Casuarina Road, Malindi.

“It is my first time performing artiste and I am playing the role of ‘Hide’ in the play ‘What are the Odds?’ It is my first time performing a three-hander and it has been a fun and challenging experience exploring the absurdity that the play requires,” Vivian told Eve Magazine.

“I am the only lady in the play and I believe that alone keeps the boys in check and creates a balance between the clownery of ‘Lost’ and the intensity of ‘Found’. That gives the play a perfect triangle,” said the performing artist.

‘What Are The Odds?’ is a dramatic comedy that promises to take audiences on a whirlwind of emotions as it unravels an astonishing story of two strangers who meet on a city council bench.

In no time, they discover they have more in common than they ever imagined, including a surprising connection by blood.

Ogutu Muraya, known for his ability to unearth hidden secrets in the most unexpected ways, masterfully directs this narrative, allowing it to bloom like a flower revealing its layers of mystery.

“In the production, I have three roles, one is the writer of the play - which has been performed in Zimbabwe and it’s the first time to come to be staged on home grounds. The story is set in a fictional world called Nyaleo, and it’s an allegory based on animal stories.

“It explores two characters who meet at a public bench and through their conversations layers of secrecy emerge and scars from a mutual connection with a shadow figure - being an allegory the characters are birds in a folktale-like world. The play is a comedy that looks at the theme of self-discovery,” Ogutu said.

“My second role is that of narrator in the play. Here I work with my practice as a storyteller to set up the story and also build up the world of Nyaleo. This work is episodic so this is one of many episodes from my collection of stories that are developing into a multiverse for theatre. My third role as the director was to provide the creative vision of the play and here I worked very closely with Ken Aswani who is the assistant director,” said Ogutu.

The play will start showing today and will run up to tomorrow. There will be two performances each day at 5 p.m., offering multiple opportunities for audiences to see the show.

It is the successful collaboration between Maabara Atelier, the artist-centred collaborative laboratory in Malindi and Studio Panda-Shuka.

The production also stars Ted Munene, and Samuel Baraza, with Ken Aswani as the assistant director and Ileene Anyona as the stage manager. This play promises to be an unforgettable experience, where laughter, drama, and unexpected connections are intertwined to create a thought-provoking and entertaining performance. 

“Everything comes together in Malindi. Theatre is a collaborative medium, and I love the liveness of it, as most things move into virtual theatre is in 3D space, and the last piece of magic in this collaboration is the audience. Karibuni Sana Malindi, Cleopatra Theatre. The play is not complete until we meet our audience,” the creators of the play says.

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