Leicester plays mark 50th anniversary of Ugandan Asian exodus


Three plays are being performed in Leicester to mark the 50th anniversary of the Ugandan Asian exodus.

More than 27,000 Asians were expelled by Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in 1972 and thousands settled in Leicester.

Now writers, from the city, have each written stories about their families fleeing Uganda, which are being told through performances at the Curve.

The theatre said the plays were a “beautiful exploration” of “incredible stories” from the past 50 years.

More than 40 local actors and creatives, led by director Mandeep Glove, have come together to unfold Chandni Mistry’s Ruka, Dilan Raithatha’s Call Me By My Name and Ashok Patel’s Ninety Day onstage.

Chris Stafford, Curve’s chief executive, and artistic director Nikolai Foster, said the story of the Ugandan Asian exodus to Leicester was “one that begins with trauma and upheaval for so many”.

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“Fifty years on, it is undoubtedly a story of resilience and triumph over adversity,” they said.

“These plays are a beautiful exploration of stories from the past 50 years and ultimately a celebration of this extraordinary community.”

The pair added it was an “historic and hugely important year for our city” and thanked their production partners the University of Leicester.

Nishan Canagarajah, vice chancellor at the university, said: “The arrival of thousands of Ugandan Asians in Leicester 50 years ago was an important moment that has helped to shape Leicester as one of the most culturally diverse places in the UK.”

The three plays run at different times and days until 6 August. Curve is also due to curate and host an exhibition to mark the anniversary, featuring stories of Ugandan Asian and South Asian migration.

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