ANDY RURI: the next best playwright?

(Kinyanjui Kombani) – Andy Ruri’s name may not ring a bell to theatre lovers, but we at Capital Lifestyle are warning: Watch this space!


When I was invited to watch ‘The Homecoming’, a play by the Kenyatta University Performing Arts group, I was not excited. The storyline did not seem appealing – ati a story set in heaven.


It is only when I sat to watch the performance that I realised the great talent that is Andy, the playwright. The plot is riveting, the comedy outrageous, and the twists nerve wrecking.


In heaven, there is a mixture of happiness and worry. Life revolves around The Secretary who coordinates ‘heavenly activities’ including keeping tabs on the many angels, including the comic Angel Michel and watchful Angel Gabriel. When Jesus went to earth thirty three years earlier, he left his prized room to the care of Angel Gabriel, who in turn handed the responsibility to the rather careless Angel Michael. Now, the worry is that Jesus is coming back, and Angel has painted the room pink, and sold some properties to Karis, the heavenly merchant who is so enterprising that he even trades in Angels’ wings. Everything has to be returned to order before Jesus comes back and without God knowing.


Add the confusion of having all those biblical characters – the stammering Moses and his cunning brother Aaron, Adam and Eve (who is planning to make a Fruitcake for Jesus’ arrival), and King Solomon and you have the audience in stitches. I had to find out from Andy what else he has up his sleeve.


The multi-talented thespian and playwright has just finished his Degree in Theatre Arts and Film Technology at KU.


He is a happy man today. His new play ‘Hallo Adults’ is the overall winner at the just concluded National Drama Festivals.


The storyline of the new play is very simple. We all remember ‘Hallo Children’ which most of us studied in primary school. Have you ever thought about what happened to the children all these years later? Well, Andy has.


‘Hallo Adults’ which won four awards at the festivals including the best Play, takes a comic slap at the family we all know. Years later, Mr. Kamau is still trying to make a living from his bus despite the Michuki rules. Tom is a ‘hustler’ trying to get a job, Mary is into phone dating, and Peter has turned gay!


Their lives are just about to be changed when the publisher of ‘Hallo Children’ approaches the family to play starring roles in the new book ‘Hallo Adults’. The comedy also won the Best Production Award, Best Comedy and Most Original Play.


Andy is already planning his next production. He has also prepared a remake of what he calls his classic: ‘The Devil’s Compound’. He also wrote ‘The Beginning’ which was also played to respectable audiences at KU.


When does he plan to take ‘Homecoming’ to the public?


“We are looking for sponsors,” the modest Andy tells me. “We should take it to the National Theatre soon!”


Having completed his studies, Andy has started his theatre career on a strong note. He may be the next best playwright.

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