Award-winning ensemble simple8 have reimagined one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century to bring E M Forster’s A Passage To India to the stage. This co-production with the Royal and Derngate, Northampton will be presented at the Park Theatre from 20 February to 24 March 2018.
This question at the heart of A Passage to India challenges us today just as it did a hundred years ago. With their new adaptation of Forster’s masterpiece and a diverse company of fourteen, simple8 finds in the past a mirror for our own divided times, carefully re-imagining this ground-breaking novel for contemporary Britain.
simple8 are renown for creating worlds out of nothing, their plays create atmosphere and setting without extravagance, costumes, scenery or props creating dynamic plays that tackle big ideas. This new production will transport their audience to British India, together with its elephants, trains, courthouses and temples.
A Passage To India is co-directed and adapted by Simon Dormandy, whose recent directing work includes co-directing his own adaptation of the Coen Brothers’ film The Hudsucker Proxy (Nuffield, Southampton and Liverpool Playhouse), and directing Julius Caesar (Bristol Old Vic), Luce (Southwark Playhouse) and Waiting for Godot (Arcola Theatre).
Original music is composed and performed live by Kuljit Bhamra MBE, one of the most prolific musicians, composers and producers on the British Asian music scene, having composed and produced over 2000 songs and worked on film scores including A Winter of Love and Bend it Like Beckham. On stage, Kuljit has appeared in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams (Apollo Victoria Theatre) and Bend it Like Beckham (Phoenix Theatre) which he also co-orchestrated.
The cast features Liz Crowther (The Witch of Edmonton, RSC) as Mrs Moore/Ralph, Matthew Douglas (An Inspector Calls, West End) as Callendar, Christopher Doyle (The Playboy of the Western World, Old Vic) as McBryde, Hannah Emanuel (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Arcola Theatre) as Mrs Callendar/Stella, Tibu Fortes (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Globe Theatre) as Hamidullah, Richard Goulding (King Charles III, Almeida, West End and Broadway) as Fielding, Nigel Hastings (Henry VI, Globe Theatre) as Turton, Asif Khan (Handbagged, UK Tour) as Aziz, Edward Killingback (Hay Fever, West End) as Ronny, Ranjit Krishnamma (Behind the Beautiful Forevers, National Theatre) as Godbole/Das, Phoebe Pryce (The Tempest, Globe Theatre) as Adela and Maanuv Thiara (Hamlet, Harold Pinter Theatre) as Mahmoud Ali. Music is performed live by Kuljit Bhamra MBE and Asha McCarthy.
A Passage to India is co-directed by Simon Dormandy and Sebastian Armesto, who has co-directed and co-written all of simple8’s productions to date. The production is designed by Dora Schweitzer, with lighting design by Prema Mehta.