"Obama the Mamba" refers not tobut to his youngest half-brother George Hussein. That's his half-brother, the gangster who got his nickname of "the mamba," which means "crocodile" in Swahili, because in his own words, “When I attacked my prey it never got away."
"Obama the Mamba" is also the title of a new play by Kevin Fegan about George Hussein which opened at Curve, Leicester's prestigious theatre, this week.
Although half-brothers, the two Hussein brothers, Barack and George, have lived very very different lives but also have points, beyond the same father, that they share. Barack hasn't, of course, lived as a violent street thief in the slums of Nairobi as George did, but they both, in their own way, now fight the fight for the downtrodden, George maybe even more than Barack.
After a stint in one of Nairobi's prisons, George has changed his life around, and just like his older half-brother, has recognized and embraced the audacity of hope and is now running a charity organization. Kevin Fegan has stitched together, into a wonderful play, elements of George Hussein's story so far. He misses out some of Obama the Mamba's ongoing problems with drink and accusations of child abduction to give us an evening of hope out of sadness, poverty and violence. In this play George is every much as inspirational as Obama the president when at his puffed-up best.
Clifford Samuel takes the title role and holds the audience's attention throughout, an audience that come to love, yes love, the character of George portrayed here. It's essentially Samuel and a double-bass, played wonderfully by Michael Searl. This is a fast-paced, well-produced, and at times heart-in-mouth production that is well worth catching if you can.
The play's run ends on Saturday (Oct. 20) and deserves an extended run down the line. If you can't catch the play you can buy Obama the Mamba's autobiography, which is a darn sight more exciting read than his older brother's!
Any American visiting the UK and into theater might want to check out Leiceste's Curve which is fast becoming one of the hottest theater locations outside of London. Postioned right in the heart of the English midlands city of Leicester, it's just an hour and fifteen minutes from London's fabulous St.Pancras station. Curve recently staged the world premiere of Harvey Weinstein's new musical "Finding Neverland," which attracted a star-studded audience including U2's Bono and The Edge.