I never miss a Heartstrings play because I’m always guaranteed a good laugh. When it comes to comedy and rib destruction, Heartstrings Entertainment is the gift that keeps giving.
Their latest show, Now or Never ran from August 30 to September 2, and like clockwork I bought a ticket for the Friday evening show.
NURSING A SORE THROAT
I was nursing a sore throat the morning after watching Now or Never from laughing way too much. The play was about a struggling photographer, Solomon (Paul Ogola) and his sneaky girlfriend, Agnes (Edith Mokeira) who seemed to be stuck to her ex like glue. Well, in actual sense, the ex, David (Nick Kwach) was the one who kept pursuing Agnes with random intimate gifts. And because he was shamelessly intrusive, he even paid rent for the house she lived in with her current boyfriend, Solomon. But Agnes did not have a gun to her head to accept the gifts so…yeah, she was sneaky, that was my conclusion right after scene one.
Solomon was total man and he did not appreciate this sponsorship from his girlfriend’s ex.
“The other day we went out you wore a dress bought by David. Yes, you wore the shoes I bought you so is that supposed to neutralise the situation?”
His enthusiastic and nosy assistant Michelle (Cindy Kahuha) did not see any problem with this arrangement and honestly neither did I. I mean, someone is choosing to bless your relationship with free rent money, so where’s the problem with that? It’s not as if he is chewing your wife in exchange, she always come home to you, right? Apparently not. Agnes failed to come home on the eve of the day when Solomon got a notification on his phone that rent has been sorted, once again. He confronted Agnes insinuating that she must have spent the night at David’s. Agnes accused him of calling her a prostitute, his defence? “I am a man. We overthink. It is what we men do.”
The play, like many others before it, was a comical but true reflection of modern society. For instance, in scene two, Solomon complained to his assistant Mitchelle of the long list of clients that were yet to pay him what they owed, including top musicians and politicians. The punchline? “These people just put up appearances for Instagram but have no money. They are broke!”
Does that ring a bell? It should, because it’s the reality of our social media lives. Some refer to it as living for the gram. The play reflects the materialistic lives of Kenyans. That as long as one had money, he or she could have their way. The play seems to take a neutral stand on the matter though.
It is impossible to discuss Kenya’s society today without mentioning corruption, and this too was not lost in the play. When Silas discovered that David was masquerading as Agnes’ dad, he had a field day extorting money from both Agnes and David to keep his mouth shut, but in the end the truth came out. Doesn’t it always?
The delivery of the cast was excellent. Victor Nyaata was my all-time favourite and he had me almost falling off my seat in laughter when he passionately declared his dislike for short people. Talk of the pot calling the kettle black, have you seen Victor?
One a scale of 1 to 10, I would give the play a solid 7 for living up to the promise of laughter. However, I feel that the play director would have done more in terms of provoking and engaging our mental reflections perhaps prompting us to better our society. To learn a thing or two about improving our relationships, dealing with the past, struggle of the hustle and so forth. I strongly believe in the power of art to positively shape societies. This time, comic relief was what we got, and we received it with arms wide open.