Wednesday, 22 October 2014

He Writes... About Kalybos in Tales of Father Amos (Play review).

This post is co-blogged with CypressGH . I was commissioned to write a review on the event by him. 


Dear CypressGH Blog readers,

I have a few questions for you.

1. Can Ghanaians ever miss the opportunity to catch the arrival of the ‘The Only Boss With One ‘S’”?

The answer is simply no. Around campus, you could observe people shaking their heads in an ‘OMG, I mustn’t miss this’ way whenever they caught the poster of the event. I was one of them, surprisingly. I am not one to rally around a Ghanaian celebrity (huge things move me with little effect). But, I really didn’t want to miss this event. Not because I’ve ever watched anything from The Only Boss (which my friends open their mouths for shock whenever they hear me say this. “Are you in Ghana at all??”). I just wanted to see what the whole Kalybos fusscination was all about.

2. Can Ghanaians ever show up on time for an event?

I would leave that to you to search within and come out with an answer after observing instances from your own experiences (with yourself!).

3. Have Ghanaians ever seen a musical comedy that good?
OK. Before I answer that, let me give you a brief description of this play. A Reverend father supposed to bless a marriage dies on the due date. A shoemaker arrives to polish his shoe for his big moment, realizes he’s dead and decides taking his valuables. That moment a robber walks in, the two connive on hiding the body and taking his valuables. Walk in the ever-church-going mother of the bride, who comes to pull in the shoemaker who she assumes as ‘Father Amos’ to bless the marriage. The whole play centres on the adventures of a faux Father who knows nothing about religion made to give ‘religious’ advice to members of his congregation (a married couple, an inquisitive church member) and thrive on the benefits of being a priest (–the numerous women that come to him alone for consultation and all the money he reeks in from the church).

So to answer my question, a musical comedy has scenes where characters sing as a substitute to reading their lines (not all scenes, albeit, as demonstrated in this play) with a happy ending.

I’m sure it’s the first of its kind in Ghana. But, was it that good? I have my review below.

Lankasap and Robin

Kalybos and Robin

Oh, I broke my promise in seeing plays or motion pictures at theatres or cinemas! I actually got popcorn and ‘Sobolo’ (KNUST substitute for Coca Cola). Although I didn’t really get it on my own, my companion for the night, I’ll call her Vida, got it for me. So, really, I didn’t out of my will break my promise, did I?

Anyway, the event started with stunning performances from campus-based artistes, S.I unit, D-prince, Kings, to name a few. The latter (–not to name a few, of course!) was my favourite, as was all the audience’s because the massive applause from their a capella rendition of ‘Awesome’ by Charles Jenkins stole the ladies’ hearts away (–they are an all-boy a capella group–) and anything else they might have added for them (backstage or at the after-party). They blew me away too. Vida couldn’t hide her excitement as she kept screaming (which I was surprised by, because this was a quiet girl who always sat behind during all the Political Science lectures).

So first of all, I think all the characters did an amazing job. The shoemaker (Robin); the ‘Kwashay’ boy (Gideon), Sister Maria (–Serwaa Akoto–has a beautiful voice and a beautiful bump), Jenna (–Mimi Okani–the bride who couldn’t give birth after wedding!), Frank (–Myra Emmanuel–husband of the bride), Lankasap (–Samira Moro–my personal favourite who I thought was the piece de rĂ©sistance of the cast with her disabled limb). Each of the characters did marvellous.

But hmm, something is missing. Or rather a someone? I mean, how could you stage a play with The Only Boss In Town absent from all but the opening and resolution scenes. Oh, Deus Ex Machina, save us all! The audience were slightly disappointed that Kalybos had just been a promotional item in the play. But did he deliver? Yes, of course he did. Did he deliver in as many scenes as much as people paid to watch him do? No. The main character of the show was The Shoemaker (Robin) who played his role perfectly.

The humour however wasn’t bad, according to the audience not me. I don’t know, but really, I should attend these events with the mind-frame of having fun, just like Vida told me. Would I have enjoyed the humour if I didn’t have a stick up my arse, posing as the firm critic? I’m not sure. But I still do not hold that opinion that humour is subjective, I’d laugh myself away if it was hilarious.

But the audience, it turned out, had a blast. They laughed so hard at one point I had to stuck my fingers in my ears.
I’d say the script was damn witty, and the play was directed to perfection. But whether it was good? Hmm, I’d say yes. It was interesting. A must-watch, even if Kalybos issn’t the star of the play.

My rating: 6/10

The Audience Rating: (if you really care about their opinion anyway, I gathered a sample of ten from the audience to score this) 9/10

Though you’d think it was a comedy. After it all, Vida, left me to the ladies’ for more than half of the play dumping her popcorn and 'Sobolo' on me (the nerve!).  I really, thought there was this connection between us. Till she never returned! If ever she met anyone in the washroom, I really do hope he turns out to be a Romeo! Because I’ll be sure she’d never have a happy-ending!
(But, still, she might have the greatest romantic story ever told. Aargh!!! Why is the Universe conspiring against me?)

Your Sometimes Very Well Misbehaved Representative,
Kobby Tetteh Gyampoh.  


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