New Courtroom Play ‘Nuts+’ Explores the Boundaries of Sanity and the Law



Festival of Creative Arts latest production, ‘Nuts+ The Mad Woman’s Day in Court‘, is a thrilling dramatic courtroom play with hilarious moments, opening Friday 25th November at the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi.

Nuts+ is a courtroom drama that closely follows one woman’s struggle in a competency hearing where she should be pronounced sane in order to stand trial for the killing of an upright man who was her client. Claudia, a high-class prostitute (played by Hellena Waithera), insists that a woman’s ‘no’, under any and all circumstances, is just that, and a woman’s right to sexuality and sexual autonomy justifies the taking of a man’s life.

Claudia murdered the man who became dangerously violent in his attempt to rape her. To avoid scandal, her parents, stepfather Governor Donald (Bilal Wanjau) and Agnes (Nungo Marrianne) try to have her declared mentally incompetent. She is then quickly diagnosed by two psychiatrists as being incapable of standing trial.

One of these psychiatrists, Herbert (Johnson Fish Chege), the aging head of the Psychiatric Department of Mathari Hospital, plays a central role in the legal proceedings, repeatedly testifying to his patient’s acute situation which, in his professional opinion, precludes the possibility of a criminal proceeding. He declares Claudia is a paranoid-schizophrenic and dangerous, and belongs not in a prison cell but at Mathari Mental Hospital, where she can be cared for.

Not helping matters is that she is very distrustful of everybody, including her shabby and struggling court-appointed lawyer John (played by Bilal Mwaura) after she declined the services of a distinguished, high-priced lawyer hired by her parents. Both John and the judge, the distinguished Justice Morgan (Angel Waruinge), stand their ground and refuse to cooperate with the doctor and his patronizing labeling.

‘Nuts+’ opens Friday 25th November 2016 at the Kenya National Theatre, running Fri 25th at 6 & 8pm, Sat 26th at 3, 6 & 8pm and Sun 27th at 3 & 6pm.




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