WIPERS Pay Tribute to South Asian Soldiers

Wipers - Photo Credit Pamela Raith Photography
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Inspired by the true story of Khuddadad Khan, Ishy Din’s WIPERS comes to Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre….reports Asian Lite News

Wipers - Photo Credit Pamela Raith Photography
Wipers – Photo Credit Pamela Raith Photography

The Belgrade Theatre is thrilled to present the UK premiere stage production of Wipers, a new play by Ishy Din inspired by the real life story of Khuddadad Khan, the first South Asian soldier to be awarded a Victoria Cross for his extraordinary bravery at the First Battle of Ypres.

Directed by Curve Associate Director Suba Das, this startling new piece of work honours the contribution of the million South Asian soldiers who fought alongside British soldiers during the First World War.

A co-production between Leicester Curve, the Belgrade Theatre and Watford Palace, Wipers will visit B2 from Thurs 12 – Sat 21 May.

Wipers is set in October 1914 when the British forces, bolstered by huge numbers of volunteer soldiers from across the Empire, have suffered huge casualties at Ypres, in one of the first bloody battles of The Great War.

As a sole survivor on the battlefield holds off the advancing enemy troops, a group of South Asian and British soldiers seek refuge in an abandoned barn. Over the course of a single night, this group of men must confront their fears and find a way to come together if they are to survive.

Director Suba Das said: ‘Not far into my research into the period, I discovered that over a million South Asian men volunteered to join the British Army during the First World War. What astonished me even more was that, as a nationality, South Asians received one of the highest percentages of Victoria Crosses during the conflict. I think that one of the things we can be really proud of here in the UK is our long-tradition of respecting and celebrating diversity. I think it’s important that audiences understand that this tradition of collaboration goes back a long way, before 1914 even. Yes, that history isn’t without its complexities. Yes, there are aspects of that history which should be celebrated and others that we would rather forget but ultimately, it’s what made Britain the country it is today. That’s what we want people to take away from the show – especially young audiences – that extraordinary things happen when people come together.’