Tara Theatre has today announced plans for its next season of work. Following its relaunch from Tara Arts to Tara Theatre in 2021 under Artistic Director Abdul Shayek, 2022 will see the company produce shows and events locally, nationally and internationally of differing scales and on different platforms. Through new productions and projects, Tara Theatre will be centring women and their stories, marking the 75th Anniversary of Partition and continuing to make politically charged, innovative theatre, exploring the world through a South Asian lens. Further plans for the season will be announced soon.
See below the full line-up.
Tara Theatre will also be launching a new commissioning scheme that will support four new writers to start developing their first full length play, developing work for Tara Theatre’s future seasons and around the themes the company will be exploring. Successful applicants will receive a budget with support on how to use it effectively, dramaturgical support, space to workshop and write and networking and production opportunities. The window for submissions will open on 1 May, 2022 at 10:00am and close on 1 June 2022 at 11:59pm. This scheme is intended to further develop and enhance the canon of British South Asian plays and discover an exciting group of new writers. Tara Theatre will also be launching a brand new membership scheme, Agents Of Change, offering priority bookings, access to the creative process and the artists and a host of other benefits.
8 – 10 April, Tara Theatre
Radically reimagine a city through the eyes of young women and non-binary people and what does it look like?
A city is a home. A place for adventures, venturing into the unknown to come out changed forever. A city is a place designed by intent and a meeting of people in moments that can never be recreated. We are here to make the streets of Wandsworth our streets.
Through film and live performance, a group of 14-18 year old women and non-binary people of Wandsworth will take the audience on an adventure through the city, all while never leaving the theatre. Our Streets will open up the conversation of what Wandsworth could and should look like if we all played a part in designing and imagining our local urban landscapes.
Our Streets is created and performed by The Company, directed by Tara Theatre Artistic Associate Beth Kapila, with dramaturgy by Afshan D’souza-Lodhi, film by Ula Moroz and set design by Kaajel Patel, lighting design by Stacey O’Shea and sound design by Nour Sokhon. Olivia Furber is Sound Design Associate.
14 – 15 May, Brighton Festival
1 – 3 July, Hat Fair
10 – 11 September, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival
Tara Theatre will bring back the critically acclaimed Final Farewell – which will tour to a range of festivals and spaces (theatre and community) across England over the Spring and Summer including Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, Hat Fair, Certain Blacks and Brighton Festival.
Final Farewell is conceived and directed by Abdul Shayek and written by Sudha Bhuchar.
The Donmar Warehouse and Tara Theatre co-production of SILENCE
1-17 September, Donmar Warehouse
Dates to be announced, Tara Theatre
“It was a great tragedy. We were friends one day and enemies the next. I will take these things to my grave.”
The 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan saw millions uprooted and resulted in unspeakable violence. It would shape modern Britain forever. Witnesses to this brutal moment in history live among us, yet the stories of that time remain shrouded in silence.
75 years later, Silence is a new play focused on communal storytelling – presenting a shared history inspired by the remarkable personal testimonies of people who lived through the last days of the British Raj. Commissioned to mark this major anniversary, Silence is adapted from Kavita Puri’s acclaimed book Partition Voices: Untold British Stories and co-produced with Donmar Warehouse. Silence will premiere at the Donmar before coming to Tara Theatre.
Alongside Silence, Tara Theatre will also create a digital educational resource, and a community engagement project that encourages people to share their experiences of this history.
Abdul Shayek said,
“As Britain holds up a mirror to its colonial history that has shaped our present day reality, many of us are asking questions of our past and who we are. 2022 provides us with the last big milestone before we lose the survivors and their living memory, giving us the chance to understand the human cost of what occurred in 1947, retelling the stories of those who survived Partition and came to the UK. As a group of storytellers we will try to capture the unbiased documentation of these stories in Kavita’s book and the very real need to recognise that this is a shared history, this is our shared history, a British story regardless of the colour of your skin.”
Silence is written by Sonali Bhattacharyya, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Ishy Din, and Alexandra Wood and directed by Abdul Shayek.
ARTISTS MAKE SPACE
October 2022, Tara Theatre, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester
In 2021 Tara Theatre launched a major new international collaboration – Artists Make Space – pairing seven Bangladesh based artists with seven UK based artists to co-create new exploratory works to be showcased in Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong, Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, and London. The artists’ specialities span artforms including playwriting, visual art, music, and poetry and will include Thahmima Begum, Ruby Kitching, Rupinder Kaur, Rehemur Rahman, Tia Ali, Abbie Lois, Kamilah Ahmed, Monon Muntaka, Mridul Kanti Goshami, Emadul Hoque Topu Apurba Jahangir, Azizee Fawmi Khan, Rakib Anwar and Hiridita Anisha.
Working with Britto Arts Trust and commissioned by the British Council, Tara Theatre will present the final works from the collaboration through a series of bespoke events.
This project will be led artistically by Tara Theatre’s newest Artistic Associate Natasha Kathi-Chandra.
30 November – 17 December 2022, Tara Theatre
A powerful virtual reality performance where Bangladeshi women’s experiences of the War of Independence take centre stage. This thought-provoking production allows audiences to experience first-hand what it was like to experience the war and in turn leave for the UK in the 1970s and 80s to build a new life. Developed from artist-led story-gathering workshops with local Bangladeshi women in Birmingham, Walsall, Manchester and London, Tara Theatre has rigorously collected testimonies that show what it was like to live through the War of Independence of Bangladesh. Kamal Kaan has scripted this oral history into a powerful virtual reality performance preserving the voices that led to independence for future generations.
Amma is directed by Abdul Shayek and written by Kamal Kaan.
Amma is supported by the National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio.
13 May 2022, Tara Theatre
After a successful first event, Tara Theatre will present its next Spoken Space, an evening of spoken word, music and monologues which will feature curated as well as open mic performances from artists of a range of backgrounds. Some of the exciting curators include acclaimed writer and spoken word artist Zia Ahmed as well as musician and saxophonist for Rudimental, Taurean Antoine-Chagar. The evening will be hosted by the award winning radio presenter for BBC Asian Network and performer Jeevan Ravindran.
English National Opera @ TARA THEATRE
Autumn 2022, Tara Theatre
For one night only, Tara Theatre will present arias from both famous and lesser-known operas, questioning opera’s historic imperial perspective, the ideas of diversity and the challenge of an artform which inherently was written by white men for white audiences. A night of dulcet tones, beautiful music and provocation and exploration of how we create change and reimagine the existing work. The night will be hosted by world-class producer, songwriter, DJ, multi-instrumentalist, orchestral composer and cultural pioneer and Tara Theatre patron Nitin Sawhney.