New theatre company will perform at Wimbledon's Polka Theatre
Summer 1947. Sixteen million people are on the move between India and the newly-formed Pakistan. Amid the violent political upheaval, young Pali’s fingers slip from his father’s hand, and his destiny changes forever.
Lost, dispossessed and alone, Pali is saved by a Muslim family. The boy is given a new home and new family, a new name, a new faith and a new life.
But seven years later, his real father returns to claim him and Pali’s life is turned upside down again. He is forced to decide who he is: the Hindu boy he was born to be, the Muslim boy he has become, or simply a child of the divide.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the partition of India, Sudha Bhuchar’s remarkable story of family, identity and belonging set against a fractured landscape, takes to the road this Autumn.
Inspired by the short story Pali by Bhisham Sahni, Child of the Divide weaves through the lives of Pali and four other children in a fictionalised account of real experiences, of families torn apart and of stolen pasts, where friendship and love are found in unexpected places.
When the original production of Child of The Divide premiered at Wimbledon’s Polka Theatre in 2006, in a co-production with Tamasha, it received rave reviews and was named as that year’s number one show for children and families by Time Out. With unaccompanied children gathering at our borders, this timely new production shines a light on the impact of world events on the lives of the young.
The debut work of Sudha Bhuchar’s recently formed company Bhuchar Boulevard, starts the tour with a return to Polka. A pilot of this new production was made in 2016 and brought with it a partnership with The Partition History Project. This is a joint initiative between senior clergy, The Royal Holloway University and The Runnymede Trust, whose mission is to promote the teaching of The Partition in Schools. The play text of Child of The Divide will be republished by Methuen to coincide with the 2017 production.
Sudha Bhuchar is an actor/playwright and a pioneering artistic leader who has lived in South Wimbledon for around 25 years.
She is co-founder of Tamasha theatre company where she served as co-artistic director for 26 years. At Tamasha she created Fourteen Songs, Two Weddings and a Funeral (winner of Barclays/TMA Best Musical) an adaptation of the booker shortlisted A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry, and Strictly Dandia (all with Kristine Landon-Smith).
Her solo plays include The House of Bilquis bibi (Lorca’s The House of Bernada Alba transposed to contemporary Pakistan) and most recently the critically acclaimed My Name is… which was also broadcast on Radio 4.
Sudha’s acting career includes Eastenders, Doctors and Casualty for the BBC, Stella for Sky TV, and most recently she played Sonia Rahman in Coronation Street. Sudha will make her first Disney appearance in Mary Poppins Returns in December 2018.
Child of the Divide is at the Tara Arts Theatre in Earlsfield from November 7-11.
August 17, 2017