I’m currently in Bangalore for the opening of a brand new theatre, Jagriti. Director, Jeff Teare and I have been working in partnership with Jagriti’s resident company, ART, for a couple of years on the Theatrescience project, (more about this here: www.theatrescience.com), and during this time we’ve jointly commissioned and co-produced several new plays by UK and India based playwrights.
Jagriti, the lifelong imagining of well known and much loved theatrical couple Arundhati and Jagdish Raja, has been a couple of years in the creating. And I’ve been lucky enough to visit several times with various writers and theatre people from the UK. Most recently I was here in May, with Welsh playwright and publisher, Lewis Davies, after receiving a British Council grant to adapt and workshop the Parthian novel ‘Mrs D’Silva’s Detective Instincts and the Shaitan of Calcutta’ by Glen Peters. http://britishcouncilindia.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/adapting-the-novel-mrs-d%E2%80%99silva%E2%80%99s-work-in-progress/.
We undertook the workshop in partnership with a brilliant young company from Kolkata, Tin Can, and following further development and workshops in West Wales later this year, we hope to show the work in Cardiff and various Indian cities..
Jagriti theatre opening this week means that the city of Bangalore will have a second purpose built theatre building - Rangashankara, in the south of the city, being the first – there are two auditoria, one indoor and one outdoor, plus a good in-house cafe/restaurant and a book shop. It has the potential to be a prominent centre of English Language Theatre in India, sitting alongside the long established Pritvi theatre in Mumbai. They're planning a strong national and International programme, plus they intend to be a home for emerging artists locally and for youth, community and education projects. They've started a partnership with Soho Theatre to run their Soho Connect project for young playwrights in schools in Bangalore.
Arundhati and Jagdish are keen to host a season of Welsh work in 2012 and have been in discussion with WAG and the BC. Future developments are funding dependent, as ever, however there is a genuine will and enthusiasm to take the project forward.
I’m going to be working with them on their international partnerships and programming over the coming year, if you have any questions please do get in touch. Or read more about Jagriti on their website http://www.jagrititheatre.com.
‘The auditorium has state-of-the-art lighting, sound, video and projection equipment; there are 200 comfortable seats, a stage designed for intimate performances, fully equipped green. We will always strive to take care of both actor and spectator’
Arundhati Raja, Director Jagriti Theatre.
‘’The building has been under construction for some time, but has been complete, as a concept of Arundhati and Jagdish Raja, for very much longer. Runa and Jagu are theatre makers (in every sense of that phrase) of the highest quality: meticulous in their approach to language and story, rigorous in their thought, and yet unfailingly generous and warm in their dealings with all whom pass their way. This will be a theatre that feeds the mind and the heart. I wish the Jagriti every success.’’
Simon Turley UK Playwright
I’d like to congratulate Arundhati, Jagdish and the team at Jagriti on their fantastic achievement in opening their new theatre. I was lucky enough to be shown around the shell of the theatre a couple of years ago and it already felt like a very special place. At a time when human beings seem to spend more time with their iPhones and laptops than with other people it’s wonderful to celebrate the opening of a beautiful new theatre where people can come together for a genuine shared human experience.
Paul Sirett UK Playwright
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