Tamasha, The Belgrade Theatre in association with Pilot Theatre present ‘Made in India’, a new play about birth and motherhood in a brave new world. Presented by Satinder Chohan and directed by Katie Posner, it will tour the UK from 24th January until 29th April 2017. Satinder explores the global and personal implications of India’s surrogacy industry in a thrilling new play about motherhood and blood ties between women and nations.
In a surrogacy clinic in Gujarat, three women meet. It’s Londoner Eva’s last chance for motherhood. For village girl Aditi, dairy worker and single mother, surrogacy is a lifeline out of poverty – a chance to giver her own daughters a better chance in life. For clinic owner and businesswoman Dr Gupta, it’s all just another transaction. But with the backdrop of profound global forces, can it possibly remain that simple?
India has been regarded as the world’s ‘surrogacy hub’, one of a handful of countries legally offering commercial surrogacy to parents internationally, although the industry was not fully regulated. The industry was estimated to be worth over £1.5million, with surrogates themselves stated as being able to earn up to £10000. During 2016, a change to the law was drafted so that surrogacy would become legal only to heterosexual Indian couples married for five years.
Satinder Chohan, playwright: ‘I felt compelled to write a play with surrogacy at its heart as it is such a controversial subject loaded with conflicting emotion, culture and politics. I felt connected to the subject as, with my Indian village roots, the Indian women acting as surrogates that I had read about in news stories could be any number of my female relatives or indeed myself if my parents had taken a different path in life. At the same time, I wanted to explore the wider global issue of which surrogacy is a part – the commodification of everything’ in a time when morals are easily sacrificed for financial markets and how we, as privileged Westerners and consumers rely on worker all over the world to provide the material stuff of our lives.’
Satinder Chohan’s first production Zameen (2008, Kali Theatre + UK tour including Soho Theatre) told the story of a suicidal farmer and his family in India. Crossing The Line (Heat and Light, Hampstead Theatre) touched upon twenty-something Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean and KabaddiKabaddiKabbadi (2012, Kali Theatre + Pursued By A Bear + Mercury Theatre, Colchester) engaged with the lives of illegal immigrants in the UK.
Tamasha’s relationship with Satinder began in 2007 when she took part in Tamasha Developing Artists (TDA) New Writing Course. Lotus Beauty, her subsequent commission for the company was showcased at the Gate Theatre in 2010. Tamasha nominated her successfully for the Off-WestEnd.com 2013 Adopt-a-Playwright award, through which she developed Made In India.
Fin Kennedy, Artistic Director, Tamasha: ‘Tamasha is very proud to have been involved with Made in India since its outset, supporting Satinder’s idea through the Adopt-a-Playwright scheme and working closely with her to develop the play as the situation she was writing about was continually changing. Her play is extremely moving as it is about human lives affected by different desperations, against a backdrop of profound global forces. As a company we are excited to be taking on tour a play for our times, which raises vital questions about the West’s ongoing relationship with the developing world.’
2017 Tour dates
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
24 Jan – 4 February 2017, 8pm (26 Jan 7pm) + 2.15pm mats.
www.belgrade.co.uk / 024 7655 3055 / £10.50 – £15
Tron Theatre, Glasgow
8 – 11 February 2017, 7.45pm
www.tron.co.uk / 0141 552 4267 / £10 – £16
Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
14 February 2017, 7.30pm
www.macrobertartscentre.org / 01786 466 666 / £5.50 – £12.50
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
16 – 18 February 2017, 8pm
www.traverse.co.uk / 0131 228 1404 / £8.50 – £16.50
21 – 22 February 2017, 7.30pm
www.contactmcr.com / 0161 274 0600 / £7 – £13
Mercury Theatre, Colchester
24 – 25 February 2017, 8pm
www.mercurytheatre.co.uk / 01206 573 948 / £9 – £13.50 (fees apply)
Redbridge Drama Centre, London
28 February, 8pm
www.redbridgedramacentre.co.uk / 020 8708 8803 / £7.50 – £10
The Dukes, Lancaster
2 – 4 March 2017, 7.30pm
www.dukes-lancaster.org / 01524 598 500 / £5 – £13
Soho Theatre, London
8 – 25 March 2017, 7pm
www.sohotheatre.com / 020 7478 0100 / £12 – £23
The Hat Factory, Luton
31 Mar – 1 April 2017, 7.30pm
www.lutonculture.com / 01582 878 100 / £8 – £10
York Theatre Royal, York
7 – 8 April 2017, 7.45pm
www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk / 01904 623568 / £14