Review: The Last Queen of Scotland

Stellar Quines
Underbelly Cowgate, Aug 14 – 26

3 Stars (3 / 5)

The Last Queen of Scotland is not a regular autobiographical recount of playwright Jaimini Jethwa’s experience of being expelled from Uganda by Idi-Amin and her upbringing in Dundee. Directed by Jemima Levick, it is told by a woman (Rehanna MacDoanld) with a strong Dundonian dialect, the story fuses theatrical imagination with her reality of returning to Uganda to confront Idi-Amin’s spirit and the impact of his actions.

MacDonald is by all means a strong performer. However, her place in this performance should be questioned, as this play is based on the historical exodus of Ugandan-Asians with root causes in ethnic preservation. While Jethwa may approve of MacDonald, this casting decision may be problematic, especially when performing alongside BAME composer Patricia Panther who remains silent for the whole show except for occasional vocal underscoring.

Like Panther’s music, Anna Orton’s set design is intriguing, suggesting rather than depicting locations and ideas, and fusing traditional and contemporary elements together.