A Touch of Brightness, 1967

Part of the Retracing Our Footsteps Season

Performed at the Royal Court Theatre, Wednesday 30th May 2018

Written by Partap Sharma
Directed by Kristine Landon-Smith

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Three nights of play readings of classic works by British/South Asian writers, celebrating a rich canon of work that is rarely seen on stage.  Part of a curated 3 night event Retracing Our Footsteps. 

The readings will be directed by Kristine Landon-Smith, Kully Thiarai and Iqbal Khan and followed by panel discussions.

Retracing Our Footsteps is an initiative by Bhuchar Boulevard to accelerate the development of an Asian theatre playwriting archive. The Bhuchar Boulevard’s Asian playwriting archive project has been supported by Professor Colin Chambers, Tara Arts, Phizzical Productions, V&A and University of Warwick.

“What? Is it troubling you that Benarsi sold you? Child, the fact that I paid so much only shows how much I value you.”

When Rukmini is sold to a brothel in Mumbai, Pidku, a street urchin tries desperately to rescue her from prostitution.

Banned in India, this play exposes the underbelly of Indian society and the humanity within it.  The original cast included Saeed Jaffrey, Zora Sehgal and Roshan Seth. Later, it was adapted for Radio 4 and featured Judi Dench as Rukhmini and music by Ravi Shankar.

Panel Discussion
Setting the Stage: Representation, Authenticity & Identity
A Touch of Brightness
 was dubbed by the Indian censors as damaging to the ‘image’ of India whilst acknowledging the existence of the social reality depicted. Are today’s artists burdened by the need to be ‘authentic’ and who is the judge of ‘truthful’ representation? Chaired by Sudha Bhuchar with panellists including Sue Sharma, Kristine Landon-Smith, Jatinder Verma, Kully Thiarai, and Satinder Chohan.