Wife Begins at Dinner

Here is a Valentine's weekend plan for you.

Heartstrings Kenya once again proved
themselves to be masters of physical comedy
with their  production of Wife Begins at
Dinner, starting with Cyprian Osoro’s rigorous
exercise workout that was energising,
accelerating and an excellent warm-up to a
highly animated and witty show.
It’s an apparently fluff story about the hazards,
pitfalls and liabilities of the ‘come-we-stay’ style
of coupling that’s so popular among young
Kenyans today. It’s a hoot of a high-energy
comedy that puts the would-be ‘husband’ Cyprian
in the thick of a make-believe matrimonial mess.
He’s a supervisor in a company whose boss
intends to come see him at home, supposedly
for a simple get-together but really to inspect
the ‘moral uprightness’ of his manager since his
rule is all his supervisors must be legally
Of course, Cyprian is not. His live-in honey Helen
(Marclyn Adhiambo) has been with him for two
years, so when he ‘pops the question’, she goes
wild with glee.
When he finally gets around to explaining she’ll
only be a wife while the boss is around, she gets
even wilder with rage, roaring out of Cyprian’s
control and taking flight with a finality that drives
him to seek help from his grass cutter Charles
(Victor Nyaata) who has a huge catalog of
women who could be candidates for a would-be
Unfortunately, none of them pan out, so when
the boss (Stephen Mwangi) finally arrives,
Charles tries to save the day by cross-dressing
as a girl and claiming to be Cyprian’s wife.
Charles is another uncontrollable character who
drives Cyprian nuts, since he’d nearly resigned
himself to getting the sack for violating the boss’
moral code.
He’d even resorted to asking the office secretary
Rachel (Nimo Wairimu) to come be his wife-for-
a-day, but to no avail.
The hilarity shifts into a high pitch after Helen’s
sudden return followed by Rachel’s, both women
having had second thoughts about Cyprian’s
proposal and were now prepared to play the
But none of it works out. It’s an impossible
game for Cyprian to win since all three ‘wives’
show up in time for the boss to see the ruse and
instantly sack the fake spouse and former
The tables get turned around however, first when
the boss tries to seduce Charles who goes
bonkers, not so much because the boss is trying
to sexually harass Cyprian’s ‘wife’, but because
he’s emphatically straight, meaning he’d never
allow sexual contact with another man.
But that’s just the first round of last-minute
mayhem. The second comes when Helen arrives
and blasts the boss’s wife (Carolyn Njeri) for
being a prostitute who’s invaded ‘her’ house.
Then when Rachel, the secretary arrives and
suddenly cuddles up with her ‘hubby’ Cyprian, the
guy’s goose is cooked completely.
The big twist in the story comes when Rachel
accuses the supposedly high-minded boss of
sexually assaulting her some months before. She
even has photos (flashed for us on Alliance
Francaise’s cinema screen) to prove her
allegation after which the story ends
The boss gets ‘fired’ (in Donald Trump style) by
Charles, the grass cutter. But when the
(invisible) curtain comes down on the show,
nobody knows if Cyprian gets his job back or if
he and Helen get hitched or if Charles retains his
job after antagonising Cyprian so seriously with
his cross-dressing antics.

Get your tickets to watch this amazing play before the week ends.

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