Benefit reading of a new play about persecution of gay Ugandans - Old Vic
Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
KEVIN Spacey, Artistic Director of the Old Vic Theatre, has donated the Old Vic to Ugandan playwright Judy Adong so that a benefit reading of her powerful new play, Just Me You And The Silence, can be seen in London for one night only – Sunday, September, 30, 2012.
Just Me You And The Silence is set in Kampala, and follows the tragic story of Jacob Obina, an ambitious politician and family man.
The play portrays the injustice and persecution gay and lesbian people suffer in Uganda, a country currently tabling a law dubbed ‘Kill The Gays’ which would see a punishment of life imprisonment and even death for certain homosexual acts.
The play is a vivid reminder that it remains illegal to be gay in seventy eight countries, with the death penalty the ultimate punishment in five. The benefit reading is co-presented by the New York based organisation, Fuel/We Power Change, and The Kaleidoscope Trust, a UK charity working internationally to end the persecution of LGBT communities.
“This play is not only dramatic in its content, but also in its message”, stated Lance Price, Executive Director of The Kaleidoscope Trust. “We are honoured to be a presenting partner of this important event. We thank Kevin Spacey, and the staff at The Old Vic for supporting Judy’s play, and for allowing the simple truth, that it should never be a crime to be gay, to be spread further.”
Bridgit Antoinette Evans, President of Fuel, said: “The Old Vic’s donation of its remarkable theatre for Judy’s reading is an historic contribution to the global LGBT equality movement, one that has already inspired new sources of support for the courageous individuals and organisations working to promote human rights for all around the world”
The play has attracted strong support, with UK actress Naomie Harris stating: ‘‘Bravo to Judy for highlighting this very important issue and thereby, one hopes, encouraging a change of attitude on the part of the Ugandan government. Why should any government have the right to dictate who we, as sentient adults, choose to love?”
Frank Mugisha, the lead LGBT activist in Uganda, has also given public support to the production: ‘‘This play is an important cultural moment that will give voice to a section of society that is given too little chance to express itself creatively and openly.”
In keeping with the playwright’s vision of making the event accessible to all, fifty percent of the seats are being offered free to human rights defenders and youth in the UK and Europe.
Global campaigners AllOut.org, Stonewall and the Human Dignity Trust have all pledged their support as promotional partners. Funds from the event will be directed at cultural projects and campaigns which aim to effect legal and social change for persecuted LGBT communities worldwide.
For more information, visit www.thesilenceplay.org/.
Tickets: £12, £20, £25 and £50 – available from the box office on 0844 871 7628 or online at www.oldvictheatre.com.