Introducing Ugandan playwright Margaret Namulyanga

Margaret’s international residency with us came to an end last week, but before she left London we caught up to find out more about her and what she’s been writing during her time here…

Name: Margaret Namulyanga

Age: 30

How long have you been a writer?
I started writing 13 years ago. I started as a script writer for a Ugandan Radio serial drama, Rock Point 256.

How did you become involved with the Royal Court?
In 2012 I received an email from a colleague and it was advertising a call for submissions by the Royal Court to Playwrights. I applied with a play, submitted a project that I wanted to develop during the residency and was accepted.

What’s your new play about?
The play is about Pantaleo Kibaya, a fifty-eight year old man working as a mortuary attendant/gravedigger waiting for his pension to better his life, only to be laid off when he is just two years away from getting it.

What is your writing style?
Well, I can’t say there is a specific style. There is a cyclic tendency of returning to the beginning in the society I come from, so tend to I incorporate narratives that mirror that in my writing. The play I am working on now is a comic drama.

What are your aspirations as a writer?
As a writer I want to write more and faster. I think I agonize too much.

Tell us an interesting or lesser known fact about yourself…
I am scared of writing in public spaces because if something is funny – a line a character has said, or something really cheeky that I am making a character do – I will burst out laughing. I would hate for people to think: here comes mad-as-a-march-hare Margaret as I was walking into my favourite restaurant to write, just because I can’t control my happiness or frustrations when I’m writing!