Daily Archives: May 9, 2010

The Sound of Music hits Kampala.

I absolutely loved seeing Princess on stage. She was focused and excellent in her role. But most importantly she was so obviously having an absolute ball. It is just fabulous to see such joy and obvious delight in doing something. She has discovered how much she loves the stage; not just the performing part but also the camaraderie, the practices, the costumes, and the back stage tension. Even when I think she is fall down tired she still wants to get up and do it all again and she learnt so much about responsibility, commitment, listening and sharing through all this. Now she really understands what a team is.

This is why it is so important to teach the arts. Imagine how many children go through 12 years of school without an opportunity to go on stage, even in a non speaking role, there are so many skills taught in being in the theatre. Skills applicable to life, more so than an algorithm. Not that I am not saying one should cut any other subjects for the arts, but cutting the arts to save money says a lot about priorities.

Since this performance is amateur dramatics, it is a KADS production ( Kampala Amateur Dramatics) there are all sorts of characters taking part. It is amazing how many people give up time, learn lines, suffer stress, worry…all because they just love the theatre. These are special people and they are all addicted. There are students, teachers, Ugandan university students, mothers, business men and housewives there. They are a motley crew joined by this thing they have in common. After spending an insane amount of time together, in most cases they take off their make up on the last night, say goodbye and barely see other again. ‘Till the next time.

One of the reasons Kampala has such a strong Amateur Dramatics scene must be the type of people that find themselves here. There are a lot of Brits, it was founded by Brits  and the British has a very strong attachment to the theatre; at school they all had plenty of opportunity to act and even more so in university. Theatre lovers who miss the cultural scene back home have transplanted the floorboards to Kampala! An unlikely yet fitting home.

Handsome Husband is the most unlikely person you would ever find signing up for something like this. I am the trained Drama person ( although I have terrible stage fright) but there he is, (and he must have wanted to at some level ‘cause he never does anything he doesn’t want to do ) walking on a stage, with lashings of make up to age him significantly, and saying his 9 lines.  This is the first time he has ever been on stage and I think he likes it. The funniest thing is that his role is the one that tells Von Trapp he must leave and join the army; it is a small role that rolls a punch. Instead of the sombre moment it is meant to be, this turns out to be the comic relief in the play when he fails miserably in his German accent and instead sounds exactly like Inspector Clouseau. For one moment this play became a scene from the Pink Panther and then too quickly it was over and we were back in the Alps. The audience laughed, I wept, it was too too funny. I think he was great and I am proud of him for hamming it up.


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