Uganda gay play banned

A play discussing LGBT issues has been banned in Uganda during a government crackdown on political dissent

Uganda gay play banned
30 August 2012

Uganda’s Media Council has banned performances of what would have been the first theater production in the country to discuss LGBT issues.

The River and the Mountain, by British playwright Beau Hopkins, was to have been performed at the National Theater of Uganda but the theater refused to stage performances of the play after the Media Council intervened.

Other performances of the play reportedly went ahead last week at smaller venues but it is now unlikely to continue anywhere else.

The play included the story of a closeted gay businessman struggling to come to terms with his identity in a homophobic society.

Actor Okuyo Joel Atiku Prynce, who performed the gay role told the Guardian newspaper that the cast was disappointed the play could not go on.

‘What is surprising is the fact that we have received no clear reason,’ Prynce said.

‘No one is taking responsibility for this decision.’

‘We’re actors, not activists … The play is there to inspire discussion in the community and to get a reaction from people.’

Neither the state owned NewVision news agency or the independent Daily Monitor newspaper have reported on the play’s being banned so far. Nor did either news agency report on the hacking of Ugandan Government websites over the country’s anti-LGBT stance by the Anonymous hacktivist group earlier this month.

The ban comes in the same week that the Ugandan Government has moved to suppress a ‘People Power’ campaign against government corruption, with parliamentary corruption confiscating t-shirts for the campaign and arresting its founder.

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