Parliament of Owls, a poetry collection,was launched in November 2016 to rave reviews. This prompted the poet, Adipo Sidang, to pen a play that built on the theme of the title poem.
During the launch, the poet, who is also a budding songwriter, stage director and actor, screened a video of one of his poems, “Love Is a Ring” (in which he also starred), to an excited audience that is used to formal book launches with just book readings and ribbon-cutting as the climax of the affair.
Sidang’ also performed a rap song he had co-written with Zaka of the hip-hop group Ukoo Flani at the launch.
But it was the skit based on the title poem, "Parliament of Owls", by the University of Nairobi’s Travelling Theatre that capped it all, whetting the audience’s appetite and catapulting him into the world of playwriting.
The play (and the poem) was influenced by a Luo song about how birds (in their kingdom) ganged up against the owl, who up until then was a feared bird given his loud hoot and big eyes.
Parliament of Owls is a political satire that addresses corruption, political leadership, justice, tribalism and social ills.
Sidang’ acts in the play as Royal Owl and is also the assistant director. It stars Dennis Lugendo as Money Bags Owl, Evelyne Mutanu (Oyundi the Fire-finch) and Eva Akinyi (Iron Lady Owl).
The play is directed by renowned director and University of Nairobi lecturer Kimingichi Wabende.
Sidang’ promises that theatregoers will be exhilarated by the performances.
It will be staged on Saturday, June 24, at the Kenya National Theatre at 2.30pm.