KAMPALA, Uganda — A play that revolves around the turbulent life of a gay man in Uganda is being staged in the East African nation, where three years ago a parliamentarian wrote a bill seeking the death penalty for homosexuals.
This is the first time a play exploring homosexuality is being performed in Uganda, and the British playwright and producers say they hope their work can help “normalize the gay character” in this conservative country.
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The play, titled “The River and the Mountain,” premiered last Friday at a little-known theater in the capital, Kampala, amid fears the police would raid the venue and stop production. Government officials had objected to the play and blocked it from being staged at Uganda’s national theater.
David Cecil, one of the play’s producers, said on Monday that they were stopped from hanging posters at the national theater by officials who said the play’s performance had not been authorized by the government.
Edwin Mukalazi, a production manager at the national theater, said the play had become a “sensitive issue,” and that its performance would not be seen as a promotion of Uganda’s arts and culture.
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