Hellen Lukoma takes on stage

Hellen Lukoma acting. Photo/Andrew Kaggwa.

What you need to know:

  • The play that has Lukoma in the titular role centres on a couple who is trying to make their relationship stronger. Although their relationship appears ideal on the surface, barriers are created by frequent grievances and poor communication. They are more inclined to say nasty things to one another if they give each other’s viewpoints more thought.

May was a breath of fresh air for Uganda’s theatre industry. 

The theatre played host to Andrew Webber’s The Phantom of The Opera, staged by an all-black cast for the first ever but above all, it was one of the few times a musical played out in Kampala.

Before the final shows of The Phantom were even done, Yenze Theatre Conservatoire announced the dates for their musical She Loves Me set to hit theatres in July.

And the industry is not anywhere near to taking a break, it seems June is also sorted.

On May 31, singer and actress Hellen Lukoma, made her return to the stage with Fred Kalulanga’s play The Love List.

The play that has Lukoma in the titular role centres on a couple who is trying to make their relationship stronger. Although their relationship appears ideal on the surface, barriers are created by frequent grievances and poor communication. They are more inclined to say nasty things to one another if they give each other’s viewpoints more thought.

Known to many as a musician, Lukoma has however found more success in the film industry with appearances in projects such The Hostel as well as films, Pricky Roses, Situka, Yogera, The Virgin and TV dramas, Kyaddala, Beneath The Lies, The Honorablez and currently, Pearl Magic Prime’s Beloved.

Since her Obsessions days, Lukoma has not been part of theatre productions and her return, especially as a mature actor and performer is exciting for the audience.

Kalulanga, in an early press briefing, says  the script for The Love List was written over a decade ago and also managed to stage it in Sweden where he is based.

Because of the rave reviews he says the play received, he believes this is the right time for the production to come home. He also clarifies that while the play touches on issues of toxic relationships, it is not all that it is about, it is a play that also aims at encouraging those who have been in turbulent relationships.

He is excited to bring his international experience and perspective to the Ugandan stage, and he hopes that audiences will appreciate the unique storytelling style he brings. Kalulanga also mentioned that the play explores themes of love, relationships, and personal growth in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. 

The show premiered at the National Theatre on Friday night and subsequent shows will be staged over the weekend and an extra show on Monday.

The shows were initially meant to be at the theatre for all the weekends of the month but more communication is yet to be made about other performances.