by Beau Hopkins.
Part of Vibrant 2013
The River and the Mountain tackles the controversial interaction of religion, politics and sexuality in contemporary Uganda. It tells the story of Sampson, a westernised young executive at a cooking oil company, and Olu, his best friend and would-be pastor. When Sampson’s peaceful resolution of a strike by his workers leads to promotion and public prestige, he confesses to Olu that he’s gay. But his plans begin to unravel as the forces of ambition and greed unleash a ferocious homophobic campaign in the media, and Olu must choose between his own friendship and the tidal currents of popularism and power….
The River and the Mountain was staged in Kampala, Uganda, in 2012. It was the first play ever performed in Uganda to address the issue of homosexuality. It was censored from appearing at the Ugandan National Theatre, but ran for two weeks in different venues. The play was then banned by the Ugandan censors, and its producer prosecuted and deported. This is the play’s first UK reading.
Playwright and poet Beau Hopkins lived for six months in Kampala in 2012, where he wrote and produced The River and the Mountain. He is currently studying for a PhD in late modernist British poetry at the University of East Anglia.