Gasuza Entaate-My trials and tribulations is a play which, decision makers at any level, or you who is in a relationship or planning to start one, ought to watch. It touches different aspects of society but at its crust is a story of a young lady that gets drawn into marital challenges.
She is an alternative, a man in a home resorts to after his wife hardly spares time to care for him as she chases success at her career. Gasuza Entaate is loosely translated to mean problems harboured in homes and the cast stops at nothing to bring out the relevance of the title.
It is a production by Beyond Borderz Entertainment, a company run by John Ssegawa. He brings back faces that have not graced stage in a while yet favourites with the audience. The play is staged at Bat Valley Theatre, off Bombo road, in Kampala.
Ssegawa co-directs it with Patriko Mujuuka, Ruth Kalibbala Bwanika and Charles Bwanika Ssensuwa who also double as part of the cast. Hellen Lukoma and Milka Irene, both screen actors, are part of the cast too.
The play opens with a prologue through which the play’s main protagonist narrates the circumstances under which she ends up at her sister’s home in Naguru, one of the lavish suburbs of Kampala.
She has to look after her father. Her sister has a demanding job so she comes in to help. Through her, the play’s title, Gasuza Entaate- My trials and tribulations, gets its relevance. She is sexually used and assaulted and is at cross-roads on how to deal with a pregnancy that is becoming visible every passing day. In one of the opening scenes Albert, played by John Ssegawa, is throwing her out along with blood-stained bed sheets. She emerges with a broken soul, crying and down.
The stage is set as the playwright brings two families together as they prepare for a wedding. The wedding is of the lady in disarray and a young man who is excited and cannot wait for the wedding day.
When the two families meet to share about the wedding, the playwright uses the interaction to highlight the moral decadence that characterises Ugandans who have spent time in the western world.
They are abusive in their language and undermine the lifestyle of Ugandans they left back home. They prefer to do things the western way. They prefer a wedding on a plane, in space, than a communal Africa wedding affair that brings together family, friends and the community to celebrate with chants and dance.
Albert, a street-smart lawyer, and his wife- a senior police officer, are not on talking terms. Each of them is busy chasing career and lead parallel lives.
Albert’s father in-law (Charles Bwanika Ssensuwa), who has come to the couple’s home for medical stay, is disturbed by the circumstances under which his daughter, the police officer’s young sister, was treated. He goes on to initiate an investigation to find out what transpired on the morning when she was dismissed with blood-stained bed sheets.
The findings are shocking leading to the climax of the play.
The highs and lows
The cast generally puts up a convincing act through expression as they interact in various scenes through which they echo the message of problems faced in homes and thereon providing solutions. For much of the play, emotions are high given the subject matter.
The strong characterisation help grow the play’s major thematic concerns like promiscuity imbedded in cross-generation relationships. Ssegawa maximises on tension, good stage presence and utilisation and diction to bring out his message quite pronouncedly.
Indeed families harbour problems because when the main couple meets, their exchanges leave a lot to desire. Their arguments are heated and none of the two parties is willing to compromise.
There is evidence of rehearsal as character portrayals are on point and play sequence is well-maintained. The audience is engaged from the word go and patrons will hardly realise three hours fly by as duration of the play.
There is a plus for costumes and props. Actors and actresses alike, are appropriately dressed for their respective roles. The stage lighting and set-up for the different scenes is on the mark. Predominantly it is a high-end living room, with sofa sets complimented with flowers, verses and floor rugs.
The climax is loaded with a heavy message told through an angry youth, and directed to the powers that be at different levels of society. The play has so many sub-plots and can be serialised to maximise on the message being relayed.
That notwithstanding, the commitment of the cast to put a commendable performance is not surprising given their input in rehearsals. These are perhaps individuals who would like to go back to the traditional basics of theatre, away from the usual casts who rehearse as they perform before the audience.
On the whole, when the curtains fall, the Shs30,000 paid to watch Gasuza Entaate-my trials and tribulations is worthwhile because there is a lot of food for thought.
If you go
What. Watching a Ugandan production featuring seasoned actors ans actresses.
Where. Bat Valley Theatre
When. This weekend. Showing at 7pm
Tickets. Can be bought at the theatre at Shs30,000
Contact. For general information, contact John Ssegawa, the director of the production
SOURCE: Daily Monitor