Gerald Langiri
October 11 / 2011

Death. After life. What really happens when one dies? Is there an after life? Should one fear death or embrace it? Is death the end of your existence? Better yet, do your sins follow you to the grave? How long does it take to die? Are there any second chances in life? Many cultures and religions alike have their own speculations and myths about death. Some believe once you die, your spirit ascends into a better place while other believes, once you die that is the end of it.

Put aside your beliefs for a minute or two and just like a kid who has not yet been corrupted by the world’s theorems, listen to what happens when one dies; Cause of death not withstanding, you die and end up in a morgue. Whilst there, your spirit awakes and takes the greatest shape of your body! In other words, if you died in a car accident and had your head cut off and your limbs thrown on the other side of the road, your spirit will take the form of the body before your death. You will of course be invisible to the living and only other dead people (spirits), say in the morgue, will be the only people, I mean, dead people who will be able to see you. Your spirit then lingers around till you either make peace with what troubles you before passing on and by passing on, I mean, before your spirit dies. If you are among the lucky ones, your spirit can return back to your body and you Resurrect. Does that sound familiar? *cough cough, Jesus!* Was that too much to take in? Well, I apologize; I am just getting started so buckle up!

Deadtalk, a play written by Cajetan Boy and directed by Caroline Odongo, brought up questions that many of us fear to get answers to. If the dead could speak, what would they say? The play started fashionably late, about half an hour late but little did we know that, whilst we were busy interacting with each other and waiting for the play to start, the play was already half an hour into the script. Yes, there was a dead body on stage just lying there covered in white cloth in what looked like a mortuary’s setup. The play then officially started when Noah, the head mortician (played by Salim Gitao) limps on stage drunk. He is soon followed by Paco, the new intern (played by Joe Kinyua ), who is welcomed to the harsh realities of the death business. The two morgue attendants analyze the meanings of life and death, from the perspective of the living, as they attend to the bodies of those who are just waiting to be planted six feet under. And that is when Miles (played by Samson Psenjen) spirit wakes up and in utter confusion realizes that he is dead and stacked away in a mortuary. (Miles is the guy who was just playing dead on stage all the while when we thought the play had not yet started). As he comes to terms to the fact that he is dead, another dead body is brought to the morgue, that of Baraka (played by Telly Salvanus).

baraka noah and paco

The two embark on a long conversation to the reasons behind their deaths. Miles died from aids while Baraka was shot 12 times by the police who got wind of his life in crime. Miles God fearing is tried and test by Baraka who believes there is no God and death marks the ends of his life. As the story rolls on, we are told of how Baraka was raised by a single mother and step father as his biological father abandoned them. The step father molested him and raped his sister. Baraka grew up knowing there was no God and his death could not have come any sooner. Nayla (played by Nytte Sharon), a 21 year old girl, is also brought in (dead of course). She also comes to terms with the fact that she is dead and tells us her story of how she was raped, got pregnant and aborted the child and died during her pregnancy. We are finally introduced to Lucilla(played by Lydia Gitachu) who died from a car accident. Now here is where the story begins and ends. Whilst they were alive, Miles had an affair with Lucilla. Baraka was the one who raped Nayla at a party hosted by Lucilla. Lucilla is the one who paid for Naylas abortion. Lucillas death was not a coincidence as she was killed by a man she was having an affair with. Baraka actually did some inside jobs for Lucilla. How they all ended up at the same morgue is something that was left to our imaginations. Coincidence perhaps? Perhaps, that is the afterlife. Perhaps they just had to make peace with each other before they moved on as we saw later on when Miles, Nayla and Baraka spirits finally died again. In the biggest twist of events, the reason why Noah became a mortician in the first place was to find the son he abandoned. He knew everyone has to die eventually and it was his hope to meet his son for one more time even if it is in death. Recognizing the birth mark on Barakas body and matching it to his, Noah finally found his son. And here is the kicker, Lucillas stubborn spirit did not rest like the other spirits as Lucilla resurrected from the dead. Perhaps earth was her hell.

Nytte and Lydia

One thing for sure, deadtalk was a carefully crafted drama that raised more questions than answers. I expected it to be a horror of sorts with the sound effects and spooky stuff. I expected it to be a comedy and whilst it had a bit of humor to it, it was not one to make you laugh away into oblivion of what was before you, if you died and could talk what would you say?

Enjoy the preview of the show below.

Below is our picture gallery of the event. You can also find the same pictures on our actors.co.ke Facebook page

Review by Gerald Langiri

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