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Bird Bites Theatre Shows online: Oscar Wilde goes Asian; British migrant drama; Leave The Plastic on hit; writer Vinay Patel; Bollywood stage hit; Kali appeal…

Bird Bites Theatre Shows online: Oscar Wilde goes Asian; British migrant drama; Leave The Plastic on hit; writer Vinay Patel; Bollywood stage hit; Kali appeal…

Some theatres are eagerly plotting their openings next month but there are productions well worth your time and available online this coming week…

Northern and Asian Vibes on Wilde comedy classic

Yasmeen Khan author of the contemporary
Oscar Wilde ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

FUN AND different is talented writer Yasmeen Khan’s contemporary twist on the classic Oscar Wilde play, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.’
Struggling actor Jamil and rom-com star Algy “come together in the pursuit of love, being true to yourself and Nando’s” says the promotional blurb.
Khan, who writes for the popular BBC soap, ‘Eastenders’, and also a radio presenter, is “chuffed and pleased for the whole team” after the early reviews published in this opening week. The adaptation has a distinctly Northern feel – Khan has roots in West Yorkshire.
Industry bible, The Stage described it as “hilarious” and another reviewer, remarked: “Funny, clever and thoroughly enjoyable.”
Produced by Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield, this is an online version directed by Mina Anwar (‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’). You have two days to watch the production after purchasing a ticket.
Shows run until May 4.
See here

Once British, Always British – two audio plays based on real lives migration stories

Generic image of Lascars courtesy of
Wiki/National Maritime Museum

STARTING up next week is Tamasha’s ‘Once British, Always British’ – a double bill of two 30-minute audio dramas looking at migration to British port cities by Yemini and Indian sailors during the 1920s.
Both ‘The Fireman’ by Hassan Abdulrazzak and ‘Steam Rises’ by Satinder Chohan, are inspired by real material found during a writing residency at the National Archives.
In ‘The Fireman’, Sahar goes in search of her Yemeni grandfather on behalf of her grandmother, Rose. “Fantasy, reality and true lif history converge in this startlingly imaginative new play by acclaimed by playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak,” says Tamasha.
In ‘Steam Rises’, Buhur jumps a merchant ship to make his own way into a 1920s Liverpool. Romance and adventure feature initially before racism and family commitments intrude. “A true story from the Archives’ files brought shockingly to life by the author of Tamasha’s 2017 hit, ‘Made in India’ Satinder Chohan,” says Tamasha.
The theatre recently announced that its Artistic Director Fin Kennedy, after more than eight years with the theatre outfit and more than six of them as the theatremaker in charge, is leaving Tamasha.
Two performances – Thursday, April 29 7pm and Tuesday, May 4 2pm.
More info/Tickets:

Mr Maacho scores in ‘Leave The Plastic On’ digital comedy series

McMaacho (Varun Raj) and Dad (Nitin Ganetra)

GETTING more than 10,000 views for one episode is Rifco Theatre’s ‘Leave The Plastic On’ digital comedy series.
Star Nitin Ganatra (‘Eastenders’) appears in the most recent offering, ‘Maacho and Dads’.
The episode ‘Maacho Dating’ features MC Maacho (Varun Raj) on a date with Prema Petal (Nimisha Odedra) and this comedy sketch has clocked up more than 10,000 views on Rifco’s Youtube Channel. The six sketches feature a range of characters and are under five minutes duration. These skits are directed by Ameet Chana and written by Pravesh Kumar, artistic director of Rifco and Yasmeen Khan (yes, the same writer as in the ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ here).
The company produced ‘Desi Lockdown’ specifically for that period in the UK last year – you can find both series on the Rifco website and Youtube and Vimeo, respectively. The series of five lockdown films was selected for the 2020 Achates Philanthropy Prize National Showcase. From Rifco Theatre here –

Star ‘Dr Who’ and new Bush Theatre writer in residence talks about career and cats…

Vinay Patel

AWARD-WINNING writer and social media influencer Vinay Patel features in conversation with ‘Beyond the Canon: Writers Room’, a Youtube show that celebrates international playwrights and platforms writers of colour.
The recently announced writer in residence at the Bush Theatre ends season 2 of ‘Beyond the Canon‘ which is hosted by Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway and Sarudzayi Marufu with this last show dropping on Wednesday (21).
Patel will write one full length play and mentor young people coming through at The Bush while he is writer in residence there.
Patel talks about his debut play ‘True Brits’ and his epic ‘An Adventure’ which ran at The Bush in 2018. This is a play about East African Asians, their migration to Britain and is one of the few dramas to explore the British East African experience in all its complexity and depth.
Patel who wrote ‘Murdered by Father’ which won a Bafta, also penned the ‘Demons of the Punjab’ episode of BBC ‘Doctor Who‘ series screened in November 2018. In this, the doctor (Jodie Whittaker) travels back in time to uncover the story of Yasmin Khan’s (Mandip Gill) Muslim grandmother, Umbreen, who had intended to marry a Hindu, just before Partition takes place. The episode achieved high ratings of over seven million viewers and was critically acclaimed. Patel was named a Bafta Breakthrough Brit in 2016.
Patel has nearly 20,000 followers on Twitter and routinely tweets about his cats and talked about them, among other things, in ‘Beyond the Canon‘. To watch this episode

UK Bollywood stage musical comes to the digital screen

YOU CAN WATCH ‘Bring on the Bollywood’ – the musical extravaganza that toured nationally four years ago from the comfort of your own home or even on the move now.
It is available from Nottingham Playhouse until next Friday (April 30). Inspired by Indian classical cinema and including a large and talented South Asian cast, it’s written by Samir Bhamra, the artistic director of Phizzical, a South Asian inspired theatre outfit which produced the original. Read our review here

Funds needed to tell the 30-year Kali Theatre story to the world…

Coronation Street Star Shelley King who has been in Kali productions
makes a video appeal from Weatherfield

CELEBRATING 30 years since its creation is Kali Theatre.
It announced this week that it has raised over £4,000 and is looking to raise £8,000 to make a short film that will tell Kali’s own story of being set up as one of the earliest theatre companies involved in producing work by South Asian women in Britain. “Kali was established 30 years ago, when actor Rita Wolf wanted to tell the story of a South Asian woman murdered by her husband for running away to a refuge”, says Kali on its Crowdfunder page. Wolf along with Rukshana Ahmed set up Kali to present the play.
Donate/More info can be found here including the video to watch.

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture