Blooms In The Dark: A New Live Performance Show Set To Premiere

Blooms In The Dark, a new Live performance show is set to premiere in July for two shows only on July 13 at Braeside School. Presented by Creatives Garage, Blooms in the Dark is a lyrically theatrical adaptation by Kenyan writer Thayù, of their podcast with the same name. This anthology primarily features stories told by characters who live on the fringes of society—those who do not conform to societal norms regarding appearance, love, behavior, and more.

It also features stories about your aunty being worried that you might end up as the crazy cat lady, and another about taking home KES13,369 after taxes, thanks to Zakayo (that’s crazy!); or a story like that time your neighbors were throwing you knowing grins because of your squeaking 4×6 bed; tales of your pastor’s prayers being as loud as whatever he’s doing behind the toilet and slaps being served as plentifully as divorce papers! In other words, stories of real life.

The performance explores intricate themes such as sex, governance (cough! Finance Bill), religion, and traditional culture, exploring critical questions like what it means to be African, what inclusivity actually looks like, and who a good leader should be.

In these stories, the audience is confronted with the challenges and triumphs of individuals navigating their identities. Although fictional, these depictions lay bare the harsh realities and societal struggles of the people the characters represent, through acting, poetry, music, and dance. Blooms In The Dark narrates the quest for belonging—a universal pursuit where individuals find solace in religion, academics, home, or, within themselves.

This powerful performance is brought to life by an award-winning quartet of an all-female crew. Written by Thayù and directed by Thayù and Wanjiku Mwawuganga, it is produced by Hellen Masido, and stage managed by Chadota. The cast features an ensemble of acclaimed talents including Muthoni Gathecha, Riki Gathariki, Tana Gachoka, Koome Kinoti, Joseph Obel, Brian Njonge, Njeri Gakuo, Seise Bagbo, Rian Msani, and Faith Rose.

Thayù is the eccentric and acceptably reclusive writer behind the mostly kind of fictional stories that will take you on this emotional rollercoaster. Their bio reads like an encyclopedia: an award-winning creative powerhouse with a filmography portfolio of over 100 films and documentaries, and over 20 published works as an author. They are a visionary storyteller who fosters communities, both physical and virtual, by creating galleries, graphic novels, games, shoes, apparel, and furniture from abandoned buildings, and even friends’ backyards—anywhere their imagination can thrive. They are also committed to making the world a better place through their organization, Creatives Garage, which empowers creatives to pursue their dreams.

Wanjiku Mwawuganga is the co-director, dramaturg and vocalist bringing the spice into this broth with her multifaceted talents. She will also be on stage as an electrifying singer – a talent recently discovered within the confines of her bathroom, fortunately for us. Her unspoken (off-contract) role, which she takes seriously, is encouraging the scriptwriter to infuse more madness into the script. Her works of theatre are inspired by works that break taboos and embrace vulnerability and self-excavation. She is an alumna of the DAH Theatre International Summer School, class of 2019, and a scholarship holder of the Zürcher Theater Spektakel 2020 Watch and Talk.

Frank Njugi is a Kenyan Culture journalist and Arts Critic.