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Fourth theatre festival impresses

Patrick Nkakalukanyi (L) in a scene from A Ghost Story

Last Wednesday, the fourth annual Kampala International Theatre Festival kicked off at The Square, in industrial area.

For a show that has in the past traversed different forms of theatre and exhibition, there was more reason to look out for this particular edition, especially as it was moving to a new venue for the third time.

The Square has been the in-place with experimental events in the past. The theatre festival has primed itself as a platform that gives new playwrights a chance to showcase and get the audience.

This year, they had Waiting For March, a production by Colman Otunga, a sixteen-year-old student from St Mary’s College Kisubi who loves art and telling stories.

His production follows the story of a young boy diagnosed with a terminal disease and has limited time to live. His treatment is set for March and has to wait till then as his mother looks for resources.

The festival’s opening show was Strings, a production written and directed by Angella Emurwon. Strings is a single-location production that follows a family preparing for the return of their father after a 20-year absence.

Sadly, as he returns, his family is forced to learn things about him, themselves, as well as dissolve and create relationships. Other productions programmed included Born Of Normal Parents, a street show that coupled comedy, whip cracking and crowd interactions.

Performed by Murray Molloy, the show is a change from the norm, considering the fact that it wasn’t the ordinary theatre that attendees had thought of.

Faisal Kiwewa, a director at the festival, says theatre is a spectacle of art and thus, much as many viewed Molloy’s work as simply magic tricks, the art of doing it superseded the former.

Other shows included The State, a show that was performed without actors or a director. It was lauded for getting out of the box and challenging the audience.

“In all places where the show has been staged, it plays out differently,” said Alexander Manuiloff, the writer.

The festival ended yesterday (Sunday) with performances from USA, China and Nigeria, among others.


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