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The Rolling Stone

From 185 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense

About the show

Lincoln Center's U.S. premiere is an intimate yet explosive family drama about two Ugandan brothers at odds - one a gay man in a secret relationship, and the other a church pastor. 


Dembe, a college student in Kampala, Uganda, has been secretly seeing Sam, an Irish-Ugandan doctor. He longs to tell his family about their relationship, but his brother, Joe, is a rising church pastor who rails against the lifestyle Dembe is forced to conceal. And to make matters more precarious, a local newspaper has begun to publish photos of faces, and the names and addresses of gay men so that they may be hunted down and imprisoned or killed.

Member Reviews (185)


Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense
Avg Score

Disturbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting

See it if Family struggles to survive religious intolerance & public vilification of gays in 2010 Uganda. Felt a bit like Miller’s “The Crucible”.

Don't see it if Old themes in a new setting. I was surprised to learn that homophobia has gotten worse in Uganda because of American missionaries.

Intelligent, Intense, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you would like to see how human rights issues are influenced by religion in another country, well-written, superbly acted with some song.

Don't see it if you are not open to love - understanding it, respecting it and sharing it or you do not care to be a concerned member of the human race.

Intense, Indulgent, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you like plays about current events & plight of gays in many African nations, family repercussions, forced betrayals, courage

Don't see it if not a fan of gay subject matter or danger (suspense), frustrated by characters who can't make decisions or lack of sets,

Thought-provoking, Great staging, Intense, Educational, Slow

See it if You are interested in international gay rights in a fundamentalist Christian culture. Wonderful use of 3/4 round stage. Strong performances

Don't see it if You if you expect subtlety. The script could use considerable trimming.

Entertaining, Slow, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Set in Uganda about the hatred/feared they have against gay men. The young man from a Christian family that think its wrong.

Don't see it if people who are homophobia. That so call religious people be so dumb.

Also But they love their brother.

Religious hypocracy, Disturbing, Thought-provoking, Intense, Involving

See it if Heartfelt, good acting, good story; great lighting which serves as the play's changing scenery; Blankson-Wood is terrific.

Don't see it if The play can be a bit simplistic at times but does not detract from the feelings and circumstances taking place. The story is a painful one

Also This is a story of love & protect thy neighbor so long as he/she is no... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Slow, Great acting

See it if you want to see a play that reminds us of how backwards some parts of the world are

Don't see it if You need your theater to move at a fast speed. The first act of this is very slow but the second half is worth it

Also At intermission I was not impressed with what I saw. The acting was gr... Read more Read less

Profound, Heart-breaking, Powerful, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Powerful performances by a committed cast tell the story of how, abetted by American Christians, homosexuals are treated in Uganda.

Don't see it if If homosexuality offends you, or you are uninterested in the horrors of discrimination they face, maybe see something else.

Resonant, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Edgy

See it if you like fictionalized dramas based on loose truths that speak to contemporary issues.

Don't see it if seeing dramas about the persecution of same sex couples is difficult for you.

Relevant, Slow, Intense, Great acting, Harrowing

See it if Interested in a religious Ugandan family torn apart by their beliefs & dealing with the outing of a gay brother. Excellent acting!

Don't see it if religious hypocrisy, deceit, gay issues, slow start, somewhat abrupt ending, occasionally facile dialogue.

Also Still, a powerful, disturbing, & provocative story, beautifully acted,... Read more Read less

Great writing, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Ambitious

See it if you appreciate relevant work reflecting our world in all its beauty and awfulness.

Don't see it if you don’t care about humanity.


See it if Cultural values of family and love. US Evangelical's homophobic work in Uganda leads to killing gays and excommunicating their families.

Don't see it if Homophobia/Christianity, gay bashing, or colonization are triggering. Short play but feels long.

Also Diversity: all Black cast! 2 gay characters.... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing

See it if well acted (especially the woman) play that feels like a modern-day Crucible. Some nice relationships between characters.

Don't see it if want fluff, this is not this. Relevant emotional drama.

Resonant, Profound, Intelligent, Great writing, Ambitious

See it if you are looking for a play about an issue in the world that while is happening abroad, will hit you quite close to home in your own country

Don't see it if you are a Donald Trump supporter (HOMOPHOBE/Racist/Nationalist/ASSHOLE)

Also Well-staged, Powerful message, Endearing characters, Surprising charac... Read more Read less

Good acting, Ambitious, Identity vs faith

See it if You like stories about: family, faith, and identity; Africa; LGBT rights.

Don't see it if You are homophobic. You avoid dramas that are about conflict and identity.

Uninventive, Expected, Relevant, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if You are looking for yet another gay tragedy. You haven't heard about the oppression of gay men in Uganda.

Don't see it if You have gay tragedy fatigue. You want a script that fully fleshes out its characters.

Also I felt emotionally exploited by this show.

Resonant, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Exploration of identity - sexual and otherwise- family and community responsibilities particularly as they intersect with Christianity

Don't see it if The themes are difficult and troubling as they explore public shaming of sexuality and the pressures of orthodoxy in religion in Uganda

Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Both poignant and full of humor. To those who found it just another issue play, I beg to differ.

Don't see it if Some extraneous bits but all in all, a very touching, very human play.

Relevant, Profound, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You’re interested in the plight of the LGBT+ community, outside the U.S. Fictional characters/story, inspired by actual events. There was

Don't see it if Humor, but, I also fought not to cry. The acting was EXCELLENT, especially the younger brother and sister, but, all 6 in the ensemble were

Also Fabulous. I’ve heard complaints of lack of set and it’s too preachy; i... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting, Dizzying, Ambitious

See it if you are a fan of inventive adaptations that make you look at the original in a different light.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in stories revolving around LGBT life, religion or Africa.

Thought-provoking, Superb acting all around, Riveting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a moving, powerful, well-acted play

Don't see it if you don't like plays involving homosexual relationships

Resonant, Profound, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Story and actor driven and well done on both accounts

Don't see it if minimal sets sets story forward which may not be one's idea of theatre; international setting assumes universality of story

Dramatic, Heavy, Didactic

See it if you are okay with heavy themes of LGBT justice.

Don't see it if you’re sick of the “consequences” of homosexuality on stage and in media.

Also the opposing forces in this story are boldly drawn as irreparably good... Read more Read less

Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you want to sit in a lovely theater and witness an intense unveiling of the complex web of family, religion, law, and individual rights.

Don't see it if you are in the mood for something upbeat or humorous or a musical; or only like fast-paced plays.

Also I sat in the last row and decided there is not one bad seat in this th... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Profound, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy a relevant, well-acted play that has an intense ending.

Don't see it if You don’t want to see a play with gay themes, or need a lot of intricate sets and props.

July 15th, 2019
"Piety Laced With Poison in the Uganda of 'The Rolling Stone.' In this latter-day variation on Arthur Miller’s 'The Crucible,' the young British dramatist Chris Urch creates a portrait of gay love under siege."
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July 16th, 2019
"The Rolling Stone Goes for Big Feelings Over Rigor"
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July 29th, 2019
"Morals and Monologues in 'The Rolling Stone' and 'Mojada.' New plays by Chris Urch and Luis Alfaro center on a gay man in Uganda and a Mexican immigrant in Queens, each facing dangers."
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July 15th, 2019
"The writing doesn't live up to the importance of the subject matter."
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