Tara Theatre and The Donmar Warehouse have announced casting for the world premiere of Silence, a new play adapted from the testimonies and stories of people who lived through partition from Kavita Puri’s acclaimed book Partition Voices: Untold British Stories written by Sonali Bhattacharyya, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Ishy Din and Alexandra Wood. The production marks 75 years since the Partition of India, examining the legacy this brutal moment in history leaves us with today.
Artistic Director of Tara Theatre, Abdul Shayek, will direct Renu Brindle, Sujaya Dasgupta, Nimmi Harasgama, Bhasker Patel, Jay Saighal, Rehan Sheikh and Martin Turner. The production opens at the Donmar Warehouse on 6 September, with previews from 1 September, and runs until 17 September, before performances at Tara Theatre from 21 September until 1 October.
Abdul Shayek, Artistic Director of Tara Theatre, said “As Britain holds up a mirror to its colonial history that has shaped our present day reality, many of us are asking questions of our past and who we are. 2022 provides us with the last big milestone before we lose the survivors and their living memory, giving us the chance to understand the human cost of what occurred in 1947, retelling the stories of those who survived Partition and came to the UK. As a group of storytellers we will try to capture the unbiased documentation of these stories in Kavita’s book and the very real need to recognise that this is a shared history, this is our shared history, a British story regardless of the colour of your skin.”
Michael Longhurst, Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, said “We are delighted to be collaborating with Tara Theatre for the first time with this vital new play, specially commissioned to mark the 75 th anniversary of the Partition of India. The play tells the remarkable true stories of those involved in such a key moment in history, inspired by extraordinary testimony and acknowledging events that need to be spoken of in Britain.”
The 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan saw millions uprooted and resulted in unspeakable violence. It would shape modern Britain forever. Witnesses to this brutal moment in history live among us, yet the stories of that time remain shrouded in silence.
75 years later, Silence is a new play focused on communal storytelling – presenting a shared history inspired by the remarkable personal testimonies of people who lived through the last days of the British Raj.
“It was a great tragedy. We were friends one day and enemies the next. I will take these things to my grave.”
Commissioned to mark this major anniversary, Silence is adapted from Kavita Puri’s acclaimed book Partition Voices: Untold British Stories and co-produced with The Donmar Warehouse.
1 September – 17 September, Donmar Warehouse
21 September – 1 October, Tara Theatre