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The Honest Thief of India to Tour in England

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An image from the drama Charandas Chor

Lincolnshire folk music mix with classic Indian theatre. Habib Tanvir’s Charandas Chor will be presented to the British audience in a new format….reports Asian Lite News

An image from the drama Charandas Chor
An image from the drama Charandas Chor

Theatre-goers in Britain will have the opportunity to enjoy a unique theatrical performance which weaves together traditional Lincolnshire folk music and dance with one of India’s most celebrated plays. Theatre legend Habib Tanvir’Charandas Chor: The Honest Thief is a light-hearted comedy based on a classic Indian folk tale, telling the story of a principled man who finds himself on the wrong side of the law and makes a bizarre set of promises to a holy man in return for a safe haven from the police. Vowing to never eat from a golden plate, sit on a throne, marry a Queen, mount an elephant or tell a lie, one by one his promises are tested.

Directed by Dr Sreenath Nair, an award-winning theatre director and playwright from the University of Lincoln’s School of Fine & Performing Arts, this imaginative new production is based on the acclaimed 1975 original by Hindi playwright Habib Tanvir. It integrates traditional folk music and dance from Lincolnshire with Indian costume and theatrical style, performed by a cast featuring current University students and alumni.

The production, which will be performed at five venues around Lincolnshire this September, draws on expert knowledge from the Lincoln Folk Dance Society, renowned folk musician Frances Kelly, local Indian Dandia folk dancers. It forms part of Lincolnshire Diversity in the Arts: Research and Development, an Arts Council England funded project, examining cultural diversity in arts in rural communities.

Lead investigator on the project Dr Arya Madhavan is a practitioner of the world’s oldest theatre forms, Koodiyattam, and a Senior Lecturer in Lincoln’s School of Fine & Performing Arts. She said: “Combining a celebrated Indian play with Lincolnshire folk music and dance has been an exciting challenge and a revealing experience for the cast of actors, providing a gateway to examine the diversity of arts in rural counties.”

Dr Sreenath Nair,Senior Lecturer,College of Arts, University of Lincoln added: “Whilst very distinct, the cultural elements come together in harmony, enhancing a larger understanding of human conditions that cut across the boundaries of culture and ethnicity.”

Charandas Chor: The Honest Thief will be performed at the LPAC on the University’s main Brayford Pool Campus on Sunday 25th September 2016. The performance starts at 7.30pm. For more information visit www.lpac.co.uk.

The play will be touring Lincolnshire with performances at the following venues during September:

–        Friday 23rd September – Franklin College, Grimsby, 7pm

–        Sunday 25th September – LPAC evening show, 7.30pm

–        Thursday 29th September – Stamford Arts, 7.30pm

–        Friday 30th September – Gainsborough Trinity, 7.30pm

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