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I have waited for tonight for 2 years . COVID-19 has delayed the performance of Far Gone from April 2020 to now.

This play tells the story of  a young boy named Okumu who  lives in Northern Uganda with his family, doing what normal children do: playing with and arguing with his older brother. When Joseph Kony’s Lords Resistance Army arrives in the village, Okumu’s childhood is stolen and replaced with a brutal life as a child soldier.

The writer and solo actor John Rwothomack is amazing, John himself was almost abducted by the LRA when he was eight and lived in fear as did many in Northern Uganda back then. He now vividly brings this nightmare to life in Far Gone.

This was particularly poignant for me as I was in Lira , Northern Uganda in 2005 and worked with the people displaced by LRA terror. Médecins Sans Frontières was running 6 camps for those displaced by conflict in the immediate area around Lira. The child victims of the LRA were supported by (amongst others) Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières  psychologists. These children had experienced the worst trauma you could imagine – some has been forced to kill their family or neighbours in their village. They were told that unless they complied, they themselves would die. If they complied they were taken away and forced to become soldiers of the LRA. They would not leave because of the atrocities they had committed in their community when under absolute duress. It was unforgivable cruelty inflicted on innocent children.

My mission was directly affected by the LRA, towards the end of 2005, a vehicle belonging to an Italian NGO was stopped in the road and the occupants were executed by the rebels. This was a few km from where we were working that day. We were instructed to return to base which we did and I never saw my Ugandan colleagues or the patients again. Over the next week or so I took testimony from mothers in the feeding centre in Lira, I later left for Kampala, got caught up in a riot in the capital and left the country in late December . I have never reconciled the end to my time in Uganda.

What John has done is remarkable, this play is beautiful, distressing, and incredibly important. These people matter, they mattered then and they matter now. They deserve to be remembered and Far Gone is an absolutely vital element in their story.

The next shows are:

Hull 14th -16th April  (Hull truck Theatre)

Sale 19th April (Waterside Theatre)



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