Directed by Kristine Landon-Smith
Created by Kristine Landon-Smith, Sudha Bhuchar and Louise Wallinger
Design by Anoushka Athique
Lighting design by Prema Mehta
Sound design by Mike Furness
Cast: Divian Ladwa, Sonia Likhari, Amit Sharma, Louise Wallinger
Having interviewed a variety of men and women from a range of communities throughout the UK the piece has been created using a powerful verbatim technique. Recordings of interviews have been edited into a kind of aural script which is relayed to and recreated by the actors during the performance. This unusual process allows actors a unique means to expose the rhythms and idiosyncrasies of human speech, and to channel the spirit of the people they represent. This process involved interviewing 191 people and editing over 150 hours of tape.
‘the trouble with Asian men is they get dissed for the smallest of things’
‘Asian men want trophy wives; get your MBA or whatever but leave it behind when you walk through my door’
‘it seems that there is this invisible umbilical cord between the mother and son and no matter whether he’s forty or four it’s still attached; it’s intact, not cut’
Tamasha’s research has unearthed nuggets of personal experience that allow us to see the bigger picture that make up the lives of second- generation Asian men: their chameleon like negotiation between cultures, the state of the gender gap in British Asian homes and whether they can ever really break the umbilical tie with their mothers. The result is an incredibly vital, tender and frequently funny insight into lives that surround us everyday.
Tamasha’s recent productions include an adaptation of Rohinton Mistry’s Booker shortlisted novel A Fine Balance which was presented at Hampstead Theatre in January 2006 to sold out houses. Child of the Divide was the company’s first piece of children’s theatre and was presented at Polka Theatre in May 2006.
Tamasha Theatre Company was founded in 1989 by Artistic Directors Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith with a commitment to disclosing the untold stories of Asian and diasporic communities. Since that time it has commissioned and created pioneering new works inspired by Asian stories that have toured nationally and abroad and received extensive acclaim. Tamasha also runs Tamasha Developing Artists, an intracultural artist development programme that nurtures playwrights, directors, designers and performers throughout their careers
Kristine Landon-Smith: Kristine is joint founder and Artistic Director of Tamasha and has directed all of the company’s shows including Child of the Divide at Polka Theatre and the recent sell-out productions A Fine Balance (based on the novel by Rohinton Mistry) at Hampstead Theatre in January 2006 and The Trouble with Asian Men at artsdepot, November 2005. Her 1996 production, East is East, was nominated for an Olivier award and her original production of Fourteen Songs, Two Weddings and A Funeral won the Barclays Theatre Award for Best New Musical. Strictly Dandia enjoyed critical acclaim and sell-out success at the Lyric Hammersmith in both 2004 and 2005. She has also directed extensively and recently worked with the Royal Danish Theatre to direct Con:FUSIONS Workshop, a project aimed at developing cultural diversity in Scandinavian theatre.
Kristine directed Midnight Feast, a short film that was screened at the 11th Raindance Film Festival. Her work for BBC Radio has included many productions of which A Yearning and Women of the Dust won CRE Race in the Media Awards. She has directed a production of Lysistrata – an adaptation by Ranjit Bolt – for the BBC World Service
Sudha Bhuchar: Sudha is joint founder and Artistic Director of Tamasha. She is both an actor and a playwright. She recently wrote Child of the Divide which was presented at Polka Theatre in May 2006 and played Dina Dalal in Tamasha’s A Fine Balance (based on the novel by Rohinton Mistry) at Hampstead Theatre in January 2006. Her other writing credits for Tamasha include, Fourteen Songs, Two Weddings and A Funeral, Balti Kings and Strictly Dandia, in which she also performed.
Her many acting credits include, Murder (BBC) by Abi Morgan, EastEnders (BBC), Doctors (BBC), Holby City (BBC) and Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Royal National Theatre) and she is a regular on the BBC Radio drama Silverstreet. She writes regularly with Shaheen Khan and their many credits include 3 series of Girlies for BBC Radio 4 and Balti Kings (stage play as well a six part series for Radio 4). Their screenplay, The House Across the Street, has been shown on BBC 4 as part of a new writers initiative and they have co-written an episode of Doctors for the BBC. Sudha also co-wrote a short film Midnight Feast, which was screened at the 11th Raindance Film Festival.
In 2005 Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith were jointly awarded the Asian Women of Achievement Award for Arts and Culture.
Divian Ladwa was last seen with Tamasha in Child of the Divide (Polka Theatre), A Fine Balance (Hampstead Theatre), The Trouble with Asian Men (artsdepot) and Strictly Dandia (Lyric Hammersmith, The Lowry Salford and Nuffield Southampton). He is a member of FLUXX Theatre Company.
Sonia Likhari was last seen with Tamasha in The Trouble with Asian Men (artsdepot). She recently starred in Staying On (London Theatre Company) and Chopra Town (BBC/Hat Trick). Her first play, Behna, was performed at Soho Theatre as part of Kali Futures, a new writers’ programme run by Kali Theatre Company. As well as performing in The Trouble With Asian Men, Sonia was also a researcher for the show.
Amit Sharma was last seen with Tamasha in Child of the Divide (Polka Theatre) and A Fine Balance (Hampstead Theatre). He is a graduate of Graeae’s The Missing Piece 1 project. Theatre credits include: Other People’s Shoes (Theatre Royal Stratford East and Spare Tyre), Woyzeck, Into The Mystic, The Trouble With Richard, Diary Of An Action Man (Graeae) and Granny and the Gorilla (Unicorn). TV and Film credits include: Tikkabilla (BBC), The Robinsons (BBC). Amit co- wrote ‘Stoppage Time’ (BBC Radio 4) as well as writing ‘Indi- yaar’ for Paines Plough’s Wild Lunch series.
Louise Wallinger was last seen with Tamasha in The Trouble with Asian Men (artsdepot). She is a co-founder of Non-Fiction Theatre Company whose productions include Sex 1:Death 2 (BAC, Soho Theatre, Edinburgh), ‘We haven’t said a Porky Pie Yet’ (BAC, Edinburgh) and See-through Soho (Soho Theatre). Her play Cut Me and I Bleed Elvis was broadcast on Radio 4 in October 2005, and she has extensive credits as a stage actress. Louise is currently working on a new show commissioned by Soho Theatre.
Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London, W1V 6NE
Tue 5 – Sat 23 September, 7.30pm
Press night: Thu 7 September, 7.30pm
Box Office: 0870 429 6883 / www.sohotheatre.com
Ticket prices: £10 – £20
Tue 26 – Wed 27 September
Laurence Batley Theatre, Queen Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2SP
Box Office: 01484 430528/ www.lawrencebatleytheatre.co.uk
Wed 4 – Thu 5 October
The West Wing, Stoke Road, Slough, SL2 5AY
Box Office: 01753 823 710
Fri 6 – Sat 7 October
Luton Hat Factory, 65-67 Bute Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 2EY
Box Office: 01582 878 100
Sun 8 October
Cambridge Arts Theatre, 6 St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge, CB2 3PJ
Box Office: 01223 503333 / www.cambridgeartstheatre.com
Wed 11 October
Windsor Arts Centre, The Old Court, St Leonards Rd, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 3BL
Box Office: 01753 859 336/ www.windsorartscentre.org
Fri 13 – Sat 14 October
The Drum, 144 Potters Lane, Aston, Birmingham, B6 4UU
Box Office: 0121 333 2444 / www.the-drum.org.uk
Mon 16 – Tue 17 October
Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET
Box Office: 020 8253 1030
Wed 18 – Fri 20 October
The Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft, South Bolton, BL1 1SB
Box Office: 01204 520661 / www.octagonbolton.co.uk