Tinga Tinga Tales back as a musical for Easter

Friday March 25 2016

The cast of the 'Tinga Tinga Tales the Musical'

The cast of the 'Tinga Tinga Tales the Musical' during a performance at The Elephant on 3 Kanjata Road, Lavington in Nairobi. The musical premiered on March 23 and will run until April 17. PHOTO| LEOPOLD OBI 

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Remember Tinga Tinga Tales, the animated children’s television series that premiered on a Kenyan television channel and Disneyland? It was very popular with children despite its weekend morning time slot.

The television series came to an end, several months ago, which was bad news.

The good news now is that Tinga Tinga Tales is back — as a lively stage performance this time.

Based on the animation, Tinga Tinga Tales the Musical, as it is now called, has enlisted some of Kenya’s top actors and a notable production crew. The cast includes veteran thespian John-Sibi Okumu, the icon of Nairobi music life Iddi Achieng’, actor Elsaphan

Njora, Phy (winner Maisha Superstar Season I), and top musician Eric Wainaina.

The musical of the popular animated television series premieres from March 23 to April 17, at The Elephant, 3 Kanjata Road, at Lavington, Nairobi.

Tinga Tinga is written by Claudia Lloyd — the Charlie and Lola TV series producer and produced by Sheba Hirst — the show is a gloriously interactive and raucus stage musical, designed to entertain the whole family.

The monkey on the show, played by Eric Wainaina, is the lead story teller in the 75-minute play.

“The monkey is cheeky, playful and not an instigator, and he is a character that very child can relate with,” says Wainaina, who is also directing the musical.

It will take its audience on a theatrical journey where they will sing with the Dawn Chorus, interact with their favourite characters from the TV series, help Giraffe get out of sticky situation and delight in seeing how Chameleon transforms from the greyest of

grey things into an Afro-fusion master of colour.

The young giraffe, played by Phy, who is coming on stage for the first time, is pecked by fellow animals because she is young and shy. “But as the giraffe grows taller, she gets stronger and more confident,” says Phy.