London, Kampala, Accra, and Lagos, destinations we were immersed in but had one thing in common, a barbershop.
Curated by Esther Kamba and showcased at Goethe-Institut, Inua Ellam’s BARBERSHOP CHRONICLES play reading was an unforgettable dose of comedy and satire rich in diversity and uniqueness of different norms and cultures around the world.
Thirty characters read by seven actors, Arthur Sanya, Mugambi Ikiara, Thuita Mwangi, George Mo, Tim King’oo, Dadson ‘Buddy’ Gakenga, and Marko Lukyamuzzi ‘In the Flesh’.
From Gakenga’s British charm to Sanya’s Jamaican floss, not to mention Lukyamuzzi’s humorous Ugandan iteration, unrecognizing the accent mastery and execution of the actors would be a disservice, it was not only fascinating but also incredibly hilarious to watch. The accents were so accurate and keeping in mind that each was reading a different character in different accents almost looked like they were changing personalities in a split second.
Fatherhood, Racism, and Manhood were some of the themes captured in the piece all culminating in one question, What does it mean to be a ‘strong man?’
The packed audience was a clear indication that more people are recognizing play reading as a form of entertainment in our creative space. Kongole to Esther Kamba, Joseph Obel, Mwixx Mutinda, Alacoque, and the rest of the team, I for one look forward to watching more of this.
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