Kully Thiarai & Sameera Iyengar present ‘Sisters’, out 20th April 2018


Image: (R to L) Sudha Bhuchar (writer), Shanaz Gulzar (digital associate), Durre Mughal (community engagement associate), Sameera Iyengar (artistic director, Junoon Theatre), Sita Thomas (movement director/performer), Sapan Saran (writer), Emma Daman Thomas (artist/ musician), Hussina Raja (actor/artist), Kully Thiarai (artistic director, National Theatre Wales) and Tina Pasotra (emerging director) photographed in a rehearsal room, Cardiff. Credit: Dan Green / National Theatre Wales

Kully Thiarai, the Artistic Director for the National Theatre Wales, announced her first season of productions which includes a month-long festival to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS. A further two productions will reflect on the migrant experience in and beyond Wales and she announced the first two productions in a three-year cycle of experimental works, and a work-in-progress.

Making the season announcement, Kully Thiarai said: “Our 2018 season is all about People and Places. We’re inviting audiences to join us in locations across Wales and take a moment to walk in others’ shoes, be they south Asian women or migrants from all over the world, NHS staff or patients past and present.

These productions will be experimental, political, diverse and provocative. All of them will explore the human condition, what effect places have on our identities, and our impressions of others’ identities. Join us next year for this exciting new season of work, and see Wales, the world and its people through fresh eyes.

National Theatre Wales with Junoon presents ‘Sisters’

National Theatre Wales with Junoon presents ‘Sisters’, created by Kully Thiarai, Sameera Iyengar and other female artists from the South Asian diaspora which opens at the Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, on 20th April 2018. Sisters is a conversation across continents about the richness, complexity and diversity of being a south Asian woman today. Stories recalled and half-remembered, embedded in objects, left behind on trains and in airport lounges. Journeys and conversations between women in India and Wales.

Sisters is us at our best, our worst, our strongest, our weakest. Unadorned and visible, we just are.

This all-female work-in-progress by leading British-Asian and Indian artists aims to hold a mirror up to life as a south Asian woman today, wherever she lives; the echoes and the contradictions, the (in)visibility and the comradeship, all told with playfulness, honesty and humour.

Sisters is part of India Wales, a major season of artistic collaboration between the two countries to mark the UK-India Year of Culture, and is supported by British Council Wales, the Arts Council of Wales and Wales Arts International.

Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, 20 April 2018, 8pm. Tickets £5. Age guidance: 12+ Box Office 02920 371 689 https://nationaltheatrewales.org/sisters

About Kully Thiarai

Director Kully Thiarai has worked in the performing arts for many years as a theatre maker, Artistic Director and arts consultant. Her early career was largely in new writing with national touring companies like Red Ladder Theatre Company and Major Road, both based in Yorkshire. She has since led a number of organisations and companies including as Artistic Director of Contact Theatre, Manchester, Leicester Haymarket Theatre, Theatre Writing Partnership and Red Ladder Theatre Company; commissioning, producing and directing work nationally and internationally. Kully has been Artistic Director and CEO of National Theatre Wales since May 2016.

About Sameera Iyengar

Sameera Iyengar is co-founder of Junoon, an organisation that focuses on creating access to theatre and the arts. She is also currently Course Director of SMART (Strategic Management in the Art of Theatre), a capacity-building course designed specifically for theatre-makers in India, offered under the aegis of the India Theatre Forum (ITF). As a core member of the ITF till 2014, Sameera was involved in diverse efforts to strengthen the theatre environment in India. Previous to Junoon, as Director of Projects at Prithvi Theatre, Sameera was involved with running the Prithvi Theatre Festivals and Summertime programme of shows and workshops for children. She has co-edited Our Stage: The Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice in India Today (Tulika 2009). Her PhD thesis was Performing Presence: feminism and theatre in India.

About Junoon

Junoon seek to weave arts experiences into the fabric of society. Working closely with artists from theatre and allied arts fields, they strive to build a world imbued with the spirit of the arts, a world where curiosity, imagination, empathy, resolve, courage and possibility are celebrated, nurtured and valued. Junoon is about creating access to theatre and the arts. Bringing the arts into the spaces of our daily lives. Bridging the gap between arts, artists and audiences. They do this through a variety of arts experiences and engagements carefully designed and curated. Engagements include free public programmes as well as programmes designed for specific audiences. Junoon work with one eye on the present and another on the future, with a strong focus on sharing the arts with children and young people as well. junoontheatre.org

About The British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. They create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. They work in more than 100 countries and their 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes. The British Council is a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant-in-aid provides less than 20% of their turnover which last year was £864m. The rest of its revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All of its work is in pursuit of its charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally. wales.britishcouncil.org/en

About Wales Arts International

Wales Arts International is the international team of Arts Council of Wales. It aims to increase the value of international cultural exchange to Wales by facilitating and supporting opportunities for international artistic collaboration and market development. Wales Arts International work closely with Welsh Government, British Council and other UK and international partners.


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