Screen Icon Shabana Azmi returns to London with the psychological thriller, a much anticipated play- ‘Broken Images’ staged to celebrate International Women’s Day and mark the occasion of India at 70….A special preview by Richa Grover
The five time national award winning legendary actor, the dame of the Indian theatre Shabana Azmi is returning to London in a timely and topical new play that speaks of the fears, complexities, contradictions and anxieties our day and age.
Directed by Alyque Padamsee, ‘Broken Images’ is a psychological thriller around the concept of identity, the politics with languages the all-pervasive nature of technology and social media in 21st Century life and is adapted from the acclaimed 2004 Kannada play ‘Odakalu Bimba’ by the renowned playwright Girish Karnad.
Azmi essays the central character of a marginally successful Hindi short-story writer who finds overnight fame and fortune after writing a best-seller in English.
Her new-found success however, leads to a layered conflict within and without as she begins to question her own competence, linguistic proficiency and whether she has betrayed her own language and identity, leading to her creating her own “mirror image” playing confessor, psychoanalyst and inquisitor.
The character is a dual role that demands exceptional technical skills from Azmi and during performances in Mumbai in recent weeks she has showcased those skills to an extraordinary level – capturing the nuances of the protagonist’s conflicts with formidable clarity and in a compelling manner.
She has received widespread praise for her performance thus far with critics describing her as “marvellous” “stupendous ” and “utterly stimulating”.
The award-winning filmmaker Mira Nair said: “Broken Images is cleverly written and wonderfully performed. I don’t know how Shabana Azmi does it. The timing is excellent!”
Azmi herself has described the play as one which she immediately embraced, saying that despite realizing the technical challenges inherent in the role, it “propelled her on” to take on the role.
‘Broken Images’ is presented by BAITHAK UK and the Bagri Foundation, the former an arts organization which has brought Shabana Azmi to UK audiences for the past decade.
‘Broken Images’ is at London’s Logan Hall on 12 March.
The performance will be followed by a Q&A with Ms Azmi.