The name of the international Bollywood superstar, “Sharukh Khan” means different things to the three middle aged lodgers of Serene Cottage.
Leading separate lives, Rose, Pindy and Kasi come together once a week for their ‘King of Bollywood’ fan club meetings, gathered around the DVD player in the communal lounge of their suburban home, which gives them joy and fun.
The audience are part of the fan club contributing questions and answers and are invited to join in the improvised banter, while the women act out their devotion to ‘King Khan’ and draw succour from his movies and style.
After every meeting they retreat to their own rooms and the audience gets an intimate account of their inner lives and thoughts. Rose Pereira wanted a simple life in London after tumultuous existence in Kenya. She advertised in a west London newspaper; “Two rooms to let and leave your past on the doorstep.”
Pindy Patel’s parents hid her as a child in one of the stores cupboards when local Kenyan looters broke into their Mombasa shop in1968. Her three days spent in darkness haunts her till today.
Leaving her past at the doorstep appealed to Kasi, who wishes she could erase it altogether. Hiding her true, Tamil identity Kasi joins in the fuss over Bollywood, learns Hindi, and to Rose and Pindy, she passes as Indian. Even after all this time, her life is still in danger if anyone knew who she really was.
All these women appear to be marking time, until the arrival of a young Kenyan man Opiyo, looking for his biological mother, exposes their secrets and lies.
Mamma Mia meets Mother (Saawan Kumar Tak) without the songs. This powerful new play by Rasa Theatre Company is about the lives of the invisible older women or “auntijis” and through humour and grief celebrates the enduring migrant experience.
Directed by Ruth Carney-Nash the strong cast are led by Rani Moorthy (currently in Citizen Khan as Mrs. Bilal); Pooja Ghai (Bushra in Eastenders), Bharti Patel (RSC Much Ado About Nothing) and Takunda Kramer (Sour Lips, Oval House; Othello at RADA)