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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Finding Home: Leicester’s New Theatre Play On Ugandan-Asian Exodus

Leicester’s Curve Theatre is set to launch the new play, Finding Home, which is based on the Ugandan-Asian exodus in 1972. It is helmed by Mandeep Glover. The year 2022 marks the 50th anniversary since Uganda’s President Idi Amin ordered the country’s Indian and Pakistani communities to leave within 90 days.

Many of the displaced were British citizens. Consequently, around 27,000 people emigrated to the UK, with thousands settling in Leicester. The production features three new short plays by local writers whose families arrived in the UK from Uganda. The shorts are written by Ashok Patel, Dilan Raithatha and Chandni Mistry. Actors Sneya Rajani and Rav Moore are among the names of the principal cast.

Ninety Days by Patel looks at the journeys of those caught in the exodus from 1972 till today. It shows two couples – Wynnie and Joshua, Geeta and Sudesh – who come face to face with the reality of Amin’s orders. Tensions rise and loyalties, friendships and love collide with power, greed and confusion. For Wynnie, ninety days to choose between following her head or her heart. For Geeta, ninety days to leave everything behind.

Call Me By My Name by Raithatha is a story of identity, legacy and hope. Darshan treads a path of discovery into his family’s heritage. His grandfather and great uncle recollect their dangerous journey fleeing from the exodus to building a new life in Leicester. They begin to contemplate just how much of who they were – and who they are – can be found in a name.

Ruka (Swahili: Leap / Hindi: Stop) is a quick way to explore and learn the history of Ugandan Asians coming to Leicester. Penned by Mistry. Riya and her Mum live an ordinary life in Leicester, until one day Riya’s computer game suddenly leaps to life. As the game plays on, Riya discovers her Mum’s past was not as simple as she always thought.

Finding Home plays at the Curve Theatre from 29th July till 6th August. For tickets and further information, check out the website here.

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