A week of script-in-hand performances of five cutting-edge new plays with urgent global themes. Five writers with an international perspective explore what it means to be part of a wider landscape from the unique perspective of female and non-binary writers with a South Asian background.
TUESDAY 28 MARCH 7PM
Written by Atiha Sen Gupta | Directed by Helena Bell
An anonymous female from far away is seeking asylum. As she is grilled by guards about her reasons for coming here, she recounts key moments in her life with her mother, her sister and the environment in which she grew up. An environment that has literally melted from under her feet. Having reached terra ferma, this climate refugee must make her case to stay – one wrong word, mistake or slip up could see her shipped back to where she came from. But is she just trading in one hostile environment for another?
WEDNESDAY 29 MARCH 7PM
Written by Gayathiri Kamalakanthan | Directed by Gitika Buttoo
Traditional Tamil period parties are a puberty ceremony for people assigned female at birth. The event is a demonstration of love, survival and community (post-genocide). But it can also be rooted in colonial binaries and queerphobia. The play asks how do we love beyond language and redraw the map created by colonisation? Period Parrrty is 14-year-old Sai’s disruption of such a gendered puberty ritual and a reclamation of bodily autonomy that invites audiences to join the real party on stage.
THURSDAY 30 MARCH 7PM
Written by Deepika Arwind | Directed by Jo Tyabji
In the hours before a live debate a young student activist and the spokesperson for a ruling party, meet in a farmhouse for the first time. Pitched as adversaries – political, ideological, religious – and brought together by a journalist mutual friend, they sit in an anteroom of sorts… waiting. How will they meet? What will they say to each other outside the parameters of objective debate? Meanwhile, eerie happenings – creatures & shadows in the dark – haunt this waiting time. As a theatre of horror unfolds, the play examines how fear moves us, how it can be manufactured and manipulated, and manifest itself in real and violent ways.
THE HOUSE OF HARBINDER KAUR
FRIDAY 31 MARCH 7PM
Written by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti | Directed by Poonam Brah
1984 Punjab. A hot, sweaty summer. Unrest and terror on the streets. The Golden Temple is occupied by so-called Sikh militants and the Indian state is preparing to respond. Female farmer Harbinder Kaur rules over her three unmarried daughters with a rod of iron. When their father dies, the girls hope their mother will finally let life in. As the political situation worsens, the outside world seeps into Harbinder’s house and her daughters’ desires for love and truth trigger a shocking trail of destruction that changes their lives forever. This radical and entertaining re-imagining of the Lorca classic examines the roots of the rural crisis in India today and asks how a nation can ever make sense of its identity.
THE COCONUT HOUSE
SATURDAY 1 APRIL 4.30PM
Written by Bettina Gracias | Directed by Natasha Kathi-Chandra
A dark comedy set in Goa about the secrets people and houses hold and what happens when they are released. The Portuguese Inquisition of the past, the rave culture of the present and the hopes for the future are interwoven through the characters and the house itself as the land and its people reclaim themselves.