Leicester’s Curve theatre has revealed the full cast joining this Summer to mark the 50th anniversary of the Ugandan Asian exodus.
Finding Home: Leicester’s Ugandan Asian Story at 50 will see over 40 community members taking to the stage in Curve’s Studio Theatre.
The Made at Curve community production is comprised of three new plays from local writers whose families arrived in the UK from Uganda. Chandni Mistry’s Ruka, a play for families and children will be performed on Saturday 30 July, Sunday 31 July, Friday 5 August and Saturday 6 August. Dilan Raithatha’s Call Me By My Name and Ashok Patel’s Ninety Days will be presented as a double-bill, with evening performances from Friday 29 July to Saturday 6 August.
Sponsored by the University of Leicester, all three plays are directed by Mandeep Glover, who previously trained at Curve as Resident Assistant Director. Curve Resident Creative Kesha Raithatha will join as Choreographer, Set and Costume Design will come from Eleanor Field, with Trainee Assistant Director Octavia Nyombi and Trainee Choreographer and Dance Captain Velash Mistry.
Performing in Ruka will be Anita Amano, Aaron Bakrac, Radhika Bhogaita, Neel Dave, Julia Koziol, Aadi Mahj, Eliab Million, Christian Obokoh, Usha Pathak, Tejal Purohit, Ged Rains, Mauvni Rathod and Billie Venus.
Call Me By My Name will feature performers Denzel Chakauya, Amit Chudasama, Sanjay Dattani, Andreea Ghervan, Hemanti Joshi, Rajen Joshi, Yusuf Karim, Manas Kotak, Reema Mistry, Velash Mistry, Urvi Modha, Brendon Muskwe, Billy Aurelia Ooi, Dhruv Pandya, Sheetal Pandaya, Bina Patel, Nicholas Alphonso Pereira, Chandni Premgi, Aashni Sawjani and Jishnu Soni.
The cast of Ninety Days will include Anish Chauhan, Sanjay Dattani, Chisenga Malama, Rav Moore, Nathan Obokoh, Sneya Rajani and Billie Venus.
Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:
“The story of the Ugandan South Asian exodus to Leicester is one that begins with trauma and upheaval for so many. 50 years on, it is undoubtedly a story of resilience and triumph over adversity.
In this historic and hugely important year for our city, we are proud to work with over 40 local actors and creatives to celebrate and reflect on the last 50 years and are thrilled to see these incredible stories unfold onstage and through events at Curve. Led by talented local director Mandeep Glover and Leicester writers Chandni Mistry, Ashok Patel and Dilan Raithatha, these plays are a beautiful exploration of stories from the past 50 years and ultimately a celebration of this extraordinary community. We are grateful to everybody who is taking part and our production partners, University of Leicester.”
On Thursday 4 August, 50 years to the day since Uganda’s former President Idi Amin issued the order for the country’s Indian and Pakistani community to leave within 90 days, audiences can join a pre-show panel discussion at Curve. Hosted by ITV’s Rajiv Popat, speakers will include Leicester’s Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, writer Chandni Mistry, family law barrister and co-founder of South Asian Heritage Month Jasvir Singh and Manzoor Moghal, a local community leader who arrived in Leicester from Uganda in 1972. To find out more and book tickets for the discussion, visit www.curveonline.co.uk/whats-on/member-events/finding-home-the-ugandan-exodus-50-years-on-a-discussion/.
Over recent years, Curve’s annual Community Productions have offered local people from Leicester and Leicestershire opportunities to take part in a range of shows including Richard III, Fiddler on the Roof and Bollywood Jane. With Finding Home – Leicester’s Ugandan Asian Story at 50, Curve reaffirms its commitment to sharing local stories, following on from the success of the 2018 Made at Curve drama Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual.
As well as presenting three new plays, Curve will also curate and host an exhibition to mark the anniversary, featuring stories of Ugandan Asian and South Asian migration. More details will be released in due course.