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Bird Bites: What’s on… The Waves drama ‘culture war’ series starts; Soumik Datta ‘Arts Rising’ at the Southbank Centre and Orange Tree Theatre shows

Bird Bites: What’s on… The Waves drama ‘culture war’ series starts; Soumik Datta ‘Arts Rising’ at the Southbank Centre and Orange Tree Theatre shows

What’s coming up over the next few days…

Listen on the local radio and online to ‘The Waves’ – Tamasha new work

By Mamie Colfox

SITTING comfortably? Here’s an invitation to think about the culture war but as seen through the legacy and the children of the British Empire…
A series of powerful 25-minute dramas called ‘The Waves’ will air from tomorrow (January 19) exploring the subject.
Produced by Tamasha Theatre Company and Holy Mountain, the dramas will consist of local stories from Cardiff, Bristol, Manchester, Leamington Spa and Edinburgh, with each writer living in the place their story is set, from a Hibs football match to a beauty pageant in Cardiff.
Each writer’s family has been affected by British colonialism in some way, and so their stories aim to showcase that, as well as raise fundamental questions of how we live today.
‘We See No Colour’ by Cardiff based Danielle Fahiya tells the story of two non-identical twin sisters, with dual/multiple heritage and different skin tones, as they compete in a beauty pageant in Bluetown, Cardiff. ‘Grosvenor Road’ is by Corinne Walker, from Bristol, and focuses on a former slum building that serves as a Caribbean anti-racist resistance in the 1960s. ‘Baby Mama’ by Stefanie Reynolds, set in Manchester, is about a mixed middle class couple as they move into an expensive flat in Ancoats. ‘Queens’ by Erinn Dhesi, who is from Leamington Spa, uses a statue of Queen Victoria as a portal for looking into her grandmother’s past as she suffers from dementia.
‘Glory, Glory an Edinburgh Story’, is written by Kamala Santos and is set at a Hibs football match in Edinburgh, where a Scottish lumberjack sees his granddaughter participating in racist behaviour towards black players. Each play will premiere every week until February 16 and can be heard on Resonance FM and other local radio stations. Dhesi’s ‘Queens’ will open The Waves series and for more details, please click on the link below.

Listing: ‘The Wavesfrom January 19, 7.30pm:

Soumik Datta at the Southbank Centre addressing climate change and social injustice through music

VIRTUOSO performer and sarod musician Soumik Datta will present ‘Arts Rising’, a call-to-action show at the Southbank Centre on Thursday (January 20) to raise awareness of the climate emergency and social injustice. As well as this, there will be an ensemble of musicians and dancers, and an exclusive preview of Datta’s new work ‘Hope Notes’, created during his residency at the Southbank Centre.
Datta is no stranger to activism, drawing attention to the climate disaster in October 2021 at Cop 26 in Glasgow. He launched a short animation film called ‘Songs of the Earth’, which was accompanied by his new album of the same name and was winner of the British Council Climate Change Commission.
In April 2021, Datta’s new musical album was part of a six-part performance film series called ‘Silent Spaces’ which was shot in buildings that were mostly left empty due to covid-19. The venues ranged from the British Museum and the Royal Albert Hall in London, to Depot Mayfield in Manchester and The Sage in Gateshead, and dealt with issues around mental health, activism, the environment and colonialism. (See a video interview with Datta about this project)

Listing: Arts Rising, Thursday, January 20, Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1

Five shows coming to indie theatre as Michelle Lee’s Australian East and South Asian drama ‘Rice’ set to tour

INDEPENDENT and award-winning theatre company Orange Tree Theatre presents five productions until July, with all but one also being available on line and starting with one of the most successful productions in its history. Terrence Rattigan’s ‘While The Sun Shines’ kicks off this Friday (January 21), with a three-day digital on demand as well as physical performance viewing. The comedy follows Bobby, Earl of Harpenden, the night before his wedding, when a soldier he rents a room to confuses Bobby’s fiancé with his ex.
‘Rice’, written by Michele Lee, will be touring from February 4-April 14 and sees Nisha, a bright executive working for Australia’s biggest rice producer, befriend Yvette, an older Chinese migrant cleaner whose daughter is facing court after protesting against unethical practices of a supermarket chain. The play was first staged last year at the theatre in Richmond and acv interviewed lead actor Zainab Hasan (
Two Billion Beats’ is Sonali Bhattacharyya’s new coming-of-age story, as 17- year -old Asha, a rebel, guides her naive, younger sister Bettina when she turns to her for help. Showing from February 5-March 5, the two girls bond grows stronger as they begin to form their own opinions on politics and injustices in the world.
Franz Xaver Kroetz’s ‘Tom Fool’ runs from March 12-April 16 and depicts a family on the brink of disaster after money goes missing, leaving Martha torn between leaving her family behind and picking up the pieces.
The Misfortunes of the English’ will be produced as a UK premiere between April 25-May 28. Written by Pamela Carter, the story is based around true events; when 27 schoolboys and a teacher are lost in a blizzard in Nazi Germany, local villagers go out in search of them.
Martin Crimp’s version of ‘The False Servant’ tells the story of Le Chevalier, a woman disguised as the son of an aristocrat who wants to see revenge after learning he stole a rich woman’s money. Acclaimed at its Nation Theatre premier in 2004, this production will be performed between June 8 and July 23.

Listing: ‘While The Sun Shines’, January 21,7.30pm, Orange Tree Theatre, 1 Clarence St, Richmond TW9 2SA–stream-on-demand/about

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture