Born in Uganda, Jaimini Jethwa was forced out with her family at a young age when Idi-Amin expelled the Indian population from Uganda. After being forced to leave, Jethwa’s family moved to Dundee with no more than £7 to live on, an experience that has haunted her into adulthood. Based on this aspect of her childhood and the subsequent journey she took afterwards, Jethwa wrote The Last Queen of Scotland,which follows a young woman’s discovery of her identity and heritage.
We are at first hit by a young woman with a strong Dundonian accent, a little surprising but effective as she begins to tell her story. Performed by the talented Rehanna MacDonald, she executes the story with overwhelming passion and emotion that delivers the reality of the struggle faced by the many families who fled Uganda. The music of the piece is sung on stage by the angelic voice of Rebecca Donnelly which, at times emphasises the haunting nature of the protagonist’s fight with Idi-Amin and the irreparable damage he caused. At others, it conveys the sense of beauty and peace that our protagonist finds as she becomes at home in Scotland. Despite the seriousness of the subject, the show is still injected with bouts of humour and personal touches, particularly related to Dundee slang and locations, making it a special treat for Scottish audiences.
This is a powerful story that connects cultures beautifully and is a piece of history that won’t be forgotten. The Last Queen of Scotland will take you on an emotional and historical journey that is particularly poignant in the current political climate.
Words: Nastassia Sutherland
Picture: Jane Hobson
The Last Queen of Scotland, Underbelly Cowgate, Aug 20-27, 6.50pm