Aperture Africa Productions presentation of Ray Cooney’s British sex farce, It Runs In The Family, at the Oshwal Centre Auditorium last weekend provided a fulfilling dose of escapist humour and happiness to our Capital city’s fun loving theatre fans.
Cooney’s comedy about English characters and frantic goings on in a London hospital doctors lounge was rather innovatively adapted to Kenyan context, characters and situations by director Amar Desai. This certainly was a winning streak as the audience merrily related to localized scenario and heartily enjoyed the hysterical hide and seek.
It Runs In the Family is all about Dr David Mortimore, played by Pritul Raithatha, a married neurologist with racked nerves rehearsing for a career making lecture. He is interrupted by an old flame who announces that their relationship of yesteryears resulted in a son who is desperately waiting at the reception to meet his dad.
The son Leslie has earlier been picked up for drunken driving and has all the reason to cry for his long lost daddy as a typical Kenyan policeman is on the chase. Frantic and confused Mortimore, who wishes to hide the catastrophic news from his wife and hospital authorities, invents his colleague Dr. Bonney as the husband to his old flame and daddy to Leslie.
What follows is a frantic at times idiotic goon chase for the daddy, all in the name of fun, laughter and entertainment.
Hiren Vara as Bonney gave the audience large slices of fun time with his dressing up as the matron with false boobs and a wig. Other remarkable performances came from Bonaya Siri Kinywi who captured madcap behavior of young man searching for his long lost father and scoring victory clinging to the trousers of one father or the other.
Premdeep Bahra’s matron and her scenes chasing Leslie on the window ledge clutching a huge hypodermic needle and later turning up all bandaged but excited at Bonney’s offer of going to bed was hilarious. Vikash Pattni’s elderly banyani in a wheel chair and being dumped, locked up in the loo and hidden in the chest came out naughty and sexually confused dirty old man.
Mortimore’s confused wife Rosy, who herself hides a secret of her own affair, was rather seductively played by Nilopher Abji.