Universities at MEDWAY‘s performance on the life and struggles of street children in Nepal took home the winning prize at the third Kent Enlightens Nepal drama competition. The event by University of Kent NepSoc saw six university societies participating on Sunday 18th February with social issues on stage from inter-caste marriage, drug addition, role of single widowed women in the Nepalese community, corruption, sexual abuse to the challenges of being gay and trans in the Nepali community.
The competition also featured a Khukuri Dance, a demonstration by an adorable group of young children representing the Sagarmatha Taekwondo Club and a spoken word poetry on Brain Drain by Nilaza Adhikari. Nilaza’s poetry was definitely something to think about – thought provoking! KEN is a unique event where the audience really have to sit through and reflect on the ills of our society. With many experiencing caste discrimination, problems stemming from generation gap, violence against women to homophobia here in the UK, the performances showcased at KEN pose an important question to the audience regarding how they would deal with such attitudes and action.
UNIVERSITIES AT MEDWAY – FIRST WINNER
UNIVERSITY OF ROEHAMPTON – SECOND PLACE
UNIVERSITY OF EAST LONDON – THIRD PLACE
BEST ACTOR – Zhundu Don (Universities at Medway)
BEST ACTRESS – Maharani (University of Roehampton)
BEST SCRIPT – KU-KARMA (University of Roehampton)
The judges for the event were director and theatre actor Sanam Kumar Bairag, Parcha Founder and manager of RK Square Samir Gurung and optometrist, writer and Miss UK Nepal Gaumaya Gurung.
On a personal note, I absolutely enjoyed the entire event. I did feel that the performances were slightly lengthy and there were teething sound issues. It may also be wise to inform the participating societies about the issues/topic that will be presented to avoid repetition or just to give a heads up. I really enjoyed Ku-Karma by University of Roehampton Nepalese Society. It was cleverly done and presented in a very entertaining manner. Kingston University Nepalese Society did such a commendable job with their performance… the story was packed with different issues that continue to persist in our community and a special mention goes to Kajol Gurung (keep an eye out for her) for her wonderful acting too. St Mary’s University had one of the best ending by talking about the statistics surrounding drug use in the UK and in Nepal – and leaving with the Talk To Frank number. Incredible. Every participating society are winners and just to be up on that stage, remembering lines and showing your vulnerability or showmanship needs to be celebrated – so well done to all. Lastly, my personal favourite has to be University of East London Nepalese Society for their story focusing on the struggles of being gay and trans in the Nepali community. It was simply brave of the team to tackle this subject especially when so much homophobia and transphobia exist in our community. I realise that we still do not have many LGBTI figures to look up to but I hope things change and I was really impressed with how the whole performance was enacted.