Last Wednesday night, the Folksplace at the National Theatre, Accra was filled with laughter and applause as the stage came alive with the comedic chaos of “Pyjamas for 5,” directed by Samuel Ahadzi. This production, part of the Wednesday Theater initiative, presented an adaptation of the two-act play “Pajama Pour Six” by French playwright Marc Camoletti.
In this adaptation, The story revolves around Captain Morgan and Mansah, a married couple experiencing difficulties in their relationship as both engage in extramarital affairs. As Mansah plans to visit her mother out of town, Captain Morgan seizes the opportunity to invite his mistress and his best friend, Kobby, who is also secretly involved with Mansah. To make matters more complicated, Morgan hires a chef, Janet, to cater for the weekend.
Mansah changes her plans upon discovering Kobby‘s impending visit, leading Morgan into a state of panic. When Kobby arrives, Morgan urges him to pretend that Jennifer is his (Kobby‘s) mistress. However, confusion ensues when Kobby mistakes Janet as Kobby’s mistress, Jennifer, resulting in a series of comedic and complicated situations involving secrets complicated plot twists and a potentially explosive altercation once all truths are uncovered.
The setting at Folksplace provided an intimate atmosphere, perfect for the audience to immerse themselves in the intricacies of the play’s plot. The young production crew showcased their talents, delivering performances that will undoubtedly be remembered for a long time.
Jay Gabrah, a familiar face, took on the role of the motivated Captain Morgan, a character determined to create a memorable birthday celebration with his mistress. His elaborate plans become a hilarious series of misadventures when his wife, Mansah (played by Jennifer Ocloo), cancels her trip, leading to a panic-induced attempt to cover up the truth. Afotey Nii Odai, portraying Kobby, brought his own charm to the stage as Captain Morgan‘s unsuspecting best friend.
However, for me, the standout talent of the night was Naa Korkoi Okine, who brilliantly portrayed Janet, the chef. Okine not only brought humor and laughs to the play but also played a pivotal role in the complexities of the plot. The character’s witty antics, especially when pretending to be Kobby’s girlfriend Jennifer, showcased Okine‘s comedic prowess. Her line, “I deserve an Oscar for this performance,” aptly summarized the quality of her portrayal.
Despite a few slips in lengthy dialogues explaining the depth of their predicaments, the cast managed to turn these hiccups into elements that added to the confusion, which is central to the play’s theme. The entire production unfolds within the vacation home of Captain and Mansah, maintaining a single location but keeping the audience engaged for the play’s approximately 120-minute runtime.
“Pyjamas for 5” explores the trials of trust among friends and couples, delving into the lengths people are willing to go to conceal the shameful secrets of infidelity. The play successfully combines humor, confusion, and a touch of farce to create an entertaining experience.
The Wednesday Theater initiative continues to be a valuable platform for young talents in the theater business. It deserves support and encouragement, providing aspiring artists the opportunity to test and refine their skills.
While there were some minor flaws, “Pyjamas for 5” deserves a solid rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. It offers humour, intrigue, and an enjoyable midweek escape for those seeking a good laugh. Hopefully, it gets a rerun and gets seen by a wider audience.