The Djinns of Eidgah, a new production commissioned by the Royal Court, will have its premiere at the Royal Court on 18 Oct, running until 9 November. Accompanying this production, the British Council has organised a talk in collaboration with the Royal Court and Culture+Conflict: Making a better world? A Re-imagine Open Forum will be held on 30 October from 3-5.30pm, and will be live-tweeted from the @UKDramaDance Twitter account via #DjinnsofEidgah
The play, by Abhishek Majumdar (India), directed by Richard Twyman (UK), paints a tragic portrait of a generation and a landscape lost to conflict in Kashmir. The Djinns of Eidgah was developed in 2010 as part of a project in collaboration with the Royal Court Theatre, Rage Productions Mumbai and the British Council, which challenged 12 writers from India to write a play asking urgent questions about their changing country. The Mumbai Theatre Guide reviewed the production, saying: "For its beauty, for its overarching melancholia, for the astuteness of its rhetoric, this production is one of the best plays of recent times."
Over 18 months, playwrights April De Angelis and Carl Miller, and Royal Court International Director Elyse Dodgson, worked with the writers to develop their plays, which were performed as part of the Writers Bloc Festival at the Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai, in January 2012. Five of these plays were chosen to be performed in English as rehearsed readings at the Royal Court Theatre in November 2012. Majumbar's play now receives a full production.
Abhishek Majumdar is an Indian playwright and director who grew up in Delhi and now lives in Bangalore. He writes in English, Hindustani (Hindi/Urdu) and Bangla. He is the Artistic Director of the Indian Ensemble and a winner of the Metro Plus Playwriting award. He studied theatre at London International School of Performance Arts and attended the Royal Court International Residency in 2011 to continue his work onThe Djinns Of Eidgah.
“It's a play about power,” Majumdar says. “It looks at a very central question of the clash between liberal democracy and Islamic civilisation. It is that question – what is this clash? – that the play's about. The most interesting response I've heard was from some children, who asked me how come they are not taught about Kashmir in their history textbooks. A lot of it is based on real stories. The writer cannot make up anything more absurd than what the reality is.” Director Richard Twyman explains that it's a play about ordinary Kashmiris, told through their eyes, about living in “the most militarised zone on the planet... It looks at this incredibly complex problem. It's a play that's incredibly necessary. In many ways, Kashmir has fallen off the map in Western politics.”
The British Council has partnered with the Royal Court to develop international playwrights all over the world for many years, nurturing talent and sharing new global voices with UK audiences. As well as India, we’re currently working with the Royal Court in Chile, Georgia, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, South Africa, Ukraine and Turkey.
Re-Imagine Arts is a five-year initiative that brings together a wide range of partners committed to enhancing the UK-India cultural relationship. This event forms part of the British Council’s UK-South Asia Season 2013 which promotes opportunities to connect, create and collaborate in the fields of education and culture.
Culture+Conflict is a not-for-profit agency founded in 2011 focusing on the role of the arts and culture within conflict and post conflict situations across the world.
London, United Kingdom16th Oct 2013 - 31st Oct 2014
The Royal Court Theatre,