JOHN DONNE: A SCREAM WITHIN 00 Love. death. rant.
for GLASGOW THEATRE see non—festival magazine
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DAVID BENSON - STAR STRUCK .0.
Gentle reminiscence and a bag full of great impressions
DIANE & ROSS - THE AWESOME YEARS .00
Goa" ‘0 "‘9 "09 Star cross'd lovers. Gujerati style
Unusually, all five drama productions in this year‘s Edinburgh International Festival are in English. But that‘s not to say they‘re not culturally diverse. San Diego was from Scotland. Hamlet was directed by a Spaniard. The Seagull was directed by a German who lives in Italy and The Last Night of Mankind came from Argentina.
And although Strictly Dandia comes from Britain. it reflects the lives of a group so rarely given a voice that it seems just as exotic. The Hindu festival of Nevarti is a big deal among Britain‘s Gujerati community — featuring days on end of ‘garba' dance competitions — but it‘s a phenomenon largely unknown by the rest of the world. That's as true for Tamasha. a theatre company that specialises in Asian stories. as it is for anyone else.
Creating Strictly Dandia required co- writer/directors Kristine Landon-Smith and Sudha Bhuchar to do extensive research in the sports centres around the M25 as the winter festival progressed. ‘The leisure centres clear of all the people playing badminton and then all these very young Asian men and women come in,‘ says Landon-Smith. ‘The men are leather-jacketed. sculpted facial hair. posturing. They look like they‘re out of a cartoon. And all these girls dressed up to the nines. They come ostensibly to do folk dancing all night. The festival has religious significance. but ultimately now it‘s for match making.‘
Cue a West Side Story/Romeo and Juliet-style romance as Hindu and Muslim fall in love against a backdrop of highly charged choreography: think Morris dancing — only hip. ‘You might think that‘s an obvious story. but we felt it would have been perverse to have something other than what was staring you in the face.‘ says Landon-Smith. ‘lt's set in this small-minded world that gives you the drama.’ (Mark Fisher)
72 THE LIST FESTIVAL GUIDE ' ; .: ;
John Donne: A Scream Within
EGO BY CARL DJERASSI
Does my brain look big in this?