Critical Essays on British South Asian Theatre by Graham Ley, Sarah Dadswell

By Graham Ley, Sarah Dadswell

Critical Essays on British South Asian Theatre marks an incredible contribution to the certainty of 1 of the main outstanding examples of diasporic inventive task in contemporary historical past. the second one quantity on British South Asian theater compiled by way of Graham Ley and Sarah Dadswell, this quantity offers certain serious analyses of theater perform and function from the final thirty years.

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Starke’s play may carry a humanist, anti-slavetrade message, but it is also concerned with establishing a new middle-class sensibility and defining what it is to be British; the Other might be human, but being British is another thing altogether. 4 Colin Chambers—images on stage 25 Elizabeth Inchbald, playwright, actress and novelist, likewise draws on South Asian settings, but, while using them to compare the values of Europe and the East, directs her audience’s attention to dilemmas at home rather than to those of Mughal India.

Sorabji turned to an ancient Sanskrit drama, Shudraka’s The Clay Cart, but Mrs Campbell, whose role turned out not to be the lead, wanted changes that Sorabji refused to make. 35 It is possible that Sorabji was active in one of the many amateur dramatic societies that flourished at the turn of the century, or was involved with student cultural activity. Her play Gold Mohur Time: ‘To Remember’ was published in Britain in 1930, but there is no record of its having been performed.  Khambatta, who came to London from India to study law and appeared in a production of Una Marson’s At What a Price presented by members of the League of Coloured Peoples, which was first seen at the YWCA in Holborn in 1933 and then played at the Scala Theatre in early 1934.

The company performed four items. The first two were Solomon’s Sword, the story of the capture of a nobleman’s wife by a ne’er-do-well in league with the devil and of her release by a youth with an enchanted sword, played in Hindustani with songs of English or American provenance, and a sketch of American origin prepared for performance by ‘nigger troupes’—minstrelsy was a powerful genre in Britain and had been granted respectability in 1846 by a royal performance. Britain sent minstrel troupes to India, in keeping with its ‘divide and rule’ strategy of making the colonised Asian feel superior to the colonised black, and here the Parsee company was returning the favour.

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