Group: Diamondâ€™s Ensemble
Playwright: Ashraf Ssemwogerere
Director: Kato Lubwama
Showing at: Cooper Theatre
Date: April 23-24
Reviewer: Emmanuel Ssejjengo
Diamondâ€™s ensembleâ€™s new drama, Bayuguma, comes with a freshness that the group was fast losing.
In the play, Amos (Jos Senabulya) borrows money from Sir Henry (Dick Kitabulike) to go to Japan for kyeyo.
While in Japan, he pays back the money and also sends money and cars to his girlfriend, Monica (Ann Natambi), who is Sir Henryâ€™s daughter.
But father and daughter steal Amosâ€™ property. He returns and finds nothing.
The climax sees Amos, fall in love with the lovely and sweet talking Barbara (Hadija Namulondo), Monicaâ€™s sister. At the end, the caution is clear; to love is fine, but love that blinds is suicidal.
The characters are comfortable in their roles simply because they have played them for most of their professional lives.
Jos Senabulya is the true lover man the fans have fallen in love with.
Fede (Kato Lubwama) and Dumba (Ashraf Ssemwogerere) are goony friends, each with a weakness they explore for comic effect. Dumba suffers from kleptomania.
Artistically, the stage set-up is richer than the fabric-filled stages the group had adapted recently.
The strength of the drama is its economy of cast. With a cast of nine, each character manages to hold the audience. But this strains the drama. The dialogues are unnecessarily lengthy.
The music varies, but the characters do not change with it. The producers should be blamed for the sluggish tempo. The nine characters play in a variety of styles and varied emotional pitches that fail to blend in a harmonious whole.
Hadija Namulondoâ€™s comely performance as the Shakespearian lover brings the much sought for moral to the play.
When you have experienced Bayuguma you have lived through the landmarks of Diamondâ€™s Ensemble. This drama tells us they have moved back to being the dramatists many fans have wanted them to be.