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Tara Arts - January to April 2019

Rose-Marie Christian in Three Sat Under the Banya Tree. Photo by Craig Fuller.

Season preview

TARA Arts has announced their new January – April 2019 season. Highlighting the breadth of Tara’s artistic programme, the season features one world premiere, eleven plays, one children’s work, a folk opera, dance theatre and a selection of comedy and music performances.

Writer and performer Pariah Khan brings his one man show, An Indian Abroad to Tara Theatre from January 24 to January 26. Spinning the traditional ‘gap yah’ adventures on its head to great comic effect, the show tells the story of Krishnan, a middle-class Indian, coming to Britain for his “spiritual” fulfilment.

The world premiere of Jonathan Brown’s haunting new play Of Our Own Making opens on January 30 for a three-week run. Five people from very different walks of life meet each other in the darkest of circumstances – are they bound on the dangerous path towards extremism?

Tara Arts and Polka Theatre present the first ever stage adaptation of The Panchatantra (India’s Aesop’s Fables) in the UK, Three Sat Under the Banyan Tree, by Shamser Sinha, directed by Tara Arts’ Artistic Director Jatinder Verma.

Part of a UK wide tour, this children’s piece for ages 7 – 12 follows three orphans who open a magical book under a Banyan tree. Stories of a headstrong crow, a brave mongoose and a tortured tiger are brought to life with masks, movement and music. The tour visits Tara Theatre during half term from February 20 to February 23.

Two Gents Productions return to Tara with their hilarious take on Oscar Wilde’s classic The Importance of Being Earnest from February 27 to March 16. While it normally takes nine white people to perform, here two black women perform the entire play. Embracing wild wit, deft humour, role swapping and banter with the audience, they unfurl a riot of love, confusion and high jinks.

Other theatrical highlights of the season include:

The Dark by Nick Makoha and FUEL, which follows the story of a four year old boy and his mother escaping a country divided by dictatorship and consumed by conflict (January 8 – 10).

Akeim Toussaint Buck’s new dance theatre show Windows of Displacement which explores diverse identities in today’s England (January 18).

In Other Words, an intimate, humorous and deeply moving love story that explores the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and the transformative power of music in our lives (February 10).

Under The Umbrella, a compelling new play by Amy Ng set between Coventry and Guangzhou which explores tradition, trauma and triumph in the art of finding love (March 26 – 30).

Fake News from actor, writer and journalist Osman Baig which explores the very real story of how our media is created and how it’s responding to the extraordinary times we live in (April 11 – 13).

Brexit, which follows a father and son on either side of the debate as they argue it out, traversing the grotesque to the surreal until they cast their vote (April 17 – 18).

Kemp’s Jig, the true story of Shakespeare’s clown and his Morris dance from London to Norwich (April 22- 23).

The Dramatic Exploits of Edmund Kean which celebrates the spirit of one of the most unique talents that British theatre has ever produced (April 24 – 25) and Ellen Too Human to be Divine – Eileen Page’s brilliant presentation of the great Shakespearean actress, Ellen Terry (April 26 – 27).

Macedonian Inspirations

Musical highlights include Macedonian Inspirations (January 19), An Evening with the Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir (January 22 – 23) and a folk opera by Neil Gore and John Kirkpatrick, Rouse! Ye Women, which highlights the plight of the low paid, female chain-makers of Cradley Heath in 1910. Led by Mary Reid Macarthur, hundreds of women went on strike to secure a living wage (March 19 – 23).

Tara’s hugely popular comedy staple The Funny Side has three different nights, each showcasing some of the best performers from Britain’s comedy circuit compered by Gareth Kane as well as a Bring Your Own Baby comedy show (April 3).

Artistic Director Jatinder Verma said: “Where else in London will you find an Indian abroad talking to Edmund Kean? Our new season celebrates the connected worlds that form our modern experience – from new play An Indian Abroad to the events marking Shakespeare’s birthday, I am delighted we will be hosting such a wide range of talented artists bringing their stories to Earlsfield, helping make it the centre of a connected world!”

For more information and to book tickets, call the box office on 020 8333 4457 or visit www.tara-arts.com/.

Image (top): Rose-Marie Christian in Three Sat Under the Banya Tree. Photo by Craig Fuller.

Image (bottom): Macedonian Inspirations.