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Written by
Nick Makoha
Directed by
Roy Alexander Weise
Age recommendation
Running time
90 minutes with no interval
7 Jan - 16 Feb 2019
Nick Makoha

Presented by Fuel and Ovalhouse

Night is not the only darkness. Nick takes a breath as he tries to remember.

Written by the award-winning poet Nick Makoha, The Dark tells the vivid and moving story of the migration he made with his mother at the age of four.

Fragments of a forgotten journey flicker in front of his eyes. It is night, November 1978. He is four years old. He is holding his mother’s hand as they wait on the escarpment. They are leaving Kampala. Buying safe passage and silence with all they have, they travel by matatu and the conductor asks no questions.

Their companions are the missing, lost, and displaced. Those who have suffered eight long years under the rule of Idi Amin.

The Dark is a story of the journey taken by Nick and his mother to escape a country divided by dictatorship and consumed by conflict.

Co-commissioned by Fuel and Ovalhouse, supported by Arts Council England, The Cockayne Trust, The London Community Foundation, The Garrick Charitable Trust, Unity Theatre Trust, The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation, and TORCH. Development supported by PULSE Festival, Coombe Farm Studios, and as part of Ovalhouse’s FiRST BiTES series.


"⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Nick Makoha, has a sense of the ‘poetry’ of the theatre and an ear for the rhythms and idioms of a particular community they can lead us through a door to a place where we breathe new, unfamiliar, air and find ourselves in a new-discovered country."

Stage Talk Magazine

"⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - This is a play worth seeing and will leave you wanting more."


"Akiya Henry and Michael Balogun jump from character to character performing with an intoxicating exactness that makes you feel that you are in 'the dark' with them on the roads of Uganda."


"The pleasure here is all in the texture of the piece, the looming sense of peril, and the artful way it suggests who and what is lost when you are forced by circumstances to flee to another country."

Lyn Gardner, Stage Door London

"Designed by Rajha Shakiry, the production is visually pleasing and very effective."

Words of Colour

"This tense, compassionate play makes you care what happens to the travellers and should be shown to all immigration officials as part of their training."

British Theatre Guide

ABB73C5B-A51C-4932-BDF3-C60C9D79146A Created with sketchtool.

Project History