'30 Years of Bananas' to celebrate World Theatre Day

Saturday March 21 2020

The cast of 30 Years of Bananas at the National Theatre on March 17, 2020.

The cast of '30 Years of Bananas' at the National Theatre on March 17, 2020. PHOTO | MORGAN MBABAZI | NMG 

BAMUTURAKI MUSINGUZI
By BAMUTURAKI MUSINGUZI
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Thespians in Uganda are planning to celebrate World Theatre Day on March 27. The play 30 Years of Bananas will be staged at the National Theatre in Kampala from March 21 to 22 and March 27 to 29.

The play, a musical by renowned Ugandan playwright and actor Alex Mukulu, highlights the social, economic and political journey that the country has taken since Independence 58 years ago. It will be directed by fellow playwright, actor and producer Philip Luswata.

The play addresses tribalism, economic inequalities, electoral malpractices, poor leadership, dictatorship and handover of power from one president to another.

This is expressed through the experiences of the narrator, a refugee from Rwanda called Kaleekeezi (played by Philip Luswata). The play is set at the national museum, city square and a football pitch.

The play is performed in English and local languages, accompanied by music, song, dance, gestures, movements and visual effects.

The two-hour play was first staged at the National Theatre in 1992 when Uganda marked 30 years of Independence, and shown again at the same venue in December 2006 as part of the celebrations to mark 50 years of drama in Uganda. Last June, it was on at Play House in Mengo, Kampala.

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Mukulu says: “There is no pretence to the fact that this story tells the history of Uganda from the viewpoint of a recent beneficiary of the revolution that brought peace and prosperity in 1991. We choose to remain true to this archived narrative. Let the audience be the judge of contemporary relevance.”

World Theatre Day has been celebrated since 1962 around the world.

A ticket for a student will cost Ush20,000 ($5.3), a standard ticket Ush30,000 ($7.9) and a VIP ticket Ush50,000 ($13.2).