Indian playwrights season at London’s Royal Court Theatre in November

India News Bulletin Desk

Five Indian playwrights will have their works performed as rehearsed readings at the Royal Court Theatre between November 12 and 17 as part of the theatre’s ongoing commitment to finding international work. All plays will be performed in English.

The selection of these five plays -- two of which are originally in Hindi and one in Marathi --comes 18 months after the Royal Court Theatre, in collaboration with Rage Productions Mumbai, called on Indian playwrights to produce a work that will ask pressing questions about their changing country.

Five Indian plays to be performed at London's Royal Court Theatre
Image: Royal Court Theatre

British playwrights April De Angelis and Carl Miller and Royal Court Associate Director Elyse Dodgson worked closely with writers from all over India to develop their work.

The selected five plays are:
Pereira’s Bakery at 76 Chapel Road -- by Ayeesha Menon
5pm on Monday, November 12.

Menon, who is originally from Mumbai, now resides in the UK. The theme of her play is about ordinary people trying to preserve their heritage while the world around them is changing too fast. The play tracks the struggle of the residents of a close-knit Catholic Community in Bandra, Mumbai against a shopping mall developer who want to demolish their homes.

The Djinns of Eidgah -- by Abhishek Majumdar
5pm on Tuesday, November 13

Majumdar is a Bengali playwright and director who grew up in Delhi and now lives in Bangalore. His play The Djinns of Eidgah -- which is described as “one of the best plays of recent times” by critics -- is about two children Ashrafi and Bilal who are adrift in the shifting currents of Kashmir. The play, based on true stories, paints a tragic portrait of a generation and a landscape lost to conflict.

Mahua -- by Akash Mohimen
5pm on Wednesday, November 14

Originally a Hindi play, Akash Mohimen has translated Mahua for the UK screening. It is about an aspiring tribal leader who finds his world turned upside down when a hunting expedition goes wrong. The play is set in a village in Orissa  and depicts a family fighting against a mining industry that has usurped their land and uprooted an entire culture.

Ok Tata Bye Bye -- by Purva Naresh
5pm on Friday, November 16

This too is originally a Hindi play translated by the author. The play is about two film makers from the UK who document the lives of rural Indian women and in the process learn about the sex workers and truck drivers in a village where prostitution is legal. 

Leftovers -- by Sagar Deshmukh
11am on Saturday, November 17

Shillak (Leftovers) is a Marathi play by Deshmukh and has been translated by Irawati Karnik. The play is set in Pune, a city near Mumbai and tracks the lives of a traditional Indian family members who are left behind by the modern world. Deshmukh talks about the predicament of ordinary people who are left behind by rapid development and innovation.

Tickets for all readings cost £8 (£6 concessions or if booked with another reading) and can be booked at the theatre’s official website.

In addition, there will also be a panel discussion with the Indian playwrights and the Royal Court’s literary manager Chris Campbell.

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