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Shobna Gulati to Star in ANITA AND ME UK Tour in 2017

The Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Birmingham Repertory Theatre are pleased to announce that Shobna Gulati (Coronation Street, Dinner Ladies) will star as 'Daljit' in the new tour of ANITA AND ME, opening at the Wolverhampton Grand on 14 February 2017, and touring the UK until April. Adapted by multi award-winning Tanika Gupta from the book by Meera Syal, directed by Roxana Silbert and designed by Liz Ashcroft, with original music by the Ringham Brothers, ANITA AND ME will play Wolverhampton, Cheltenham, Blackpool, Nottingham, Bradford and Edinburgh. Further casting to be announced.

The professional company will perform alongside eight actors drawn from the local community, with auditions taking place in individual venues. Lighting design is by Chahine Yavroyan, sound Design by Ben and Max Ringham, original choreography by Ann Yee, Setand costume design is by Bob Bailey.

This poignant coming-of-age tale follows Meena, a young girl growing up in the only Punjabi family in a 1970s Black Country mining village. Meena spends her days happily getting into scrapes with the other local children until one day the impossibly cool Anita Enters her life.

Suddenly Meena knows exactly who she wants to be but is Anita all that she seems? Soon Meena's world is turned upside down as she is caught between two very different cultures.

Anita And Me paints a comic, poignant, compassionate and colourful portrait of village life in the era of flares, power cuts, glam rock, decimalisation and TEd Heath.

Meera Syal said, "I'm delighted that Anita and Me is touring the UK. It is amazing to think of so many people engaging in this story - particularly young people, who like me as a child, may be wondering how they fit in!"

Created by producer Jenny King, The Touring Consortium Theatre Company celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2016, producing both highly successful tours of A Tale of Two Cities and Of Mice and Men.

Jenny King said, "The company was created in 1996 in response to a need expressed by chief executives of several of the UKs leading touring venues for quality text based drama that reached out to new, young audiences as well as sustaining the interest of core theatre goers. Since its creation we have produced over twenty five productions and played to over a million people, involving some 25,000 young people in our workshops and creative learning programmes."

In 2012 TCTC were awarded over one million pounds from the ACE Strategic Touring Fund (one of the largest grants given) to support a programme of productions to be presented on tour over two and half years, with the specific aim of reaching out to new audiences. These included a world premiere production of To Sir with Love, directed by Mark Babych, adapted by Ayub Khan Din, with Matthew Kelly; a new production of Brassed Off directed by Damian Cruden with John McArdle; a world premiere production of Regeneration adapted from Pat Barker's Booker nominated novel by Nicholas Wright, directed by Simon Godwin with Stephen Boxer; A View from the Bridge directed by Stephen Unwin with Michael Brandon and JoNathan Guy Lewis; a world premiere production of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, adapted by Dawn King, with original music from These New Puritans, directed by James Dacre with Sophie Ward, a tour of Of Mice and Men featuring Dudley Sutton, and most recently a tour of A Tale of Two Cities, also directed by James Dacre.

On the back of the success of the initial programme of work the company have again been awarded a substantial grant from the ACE Strategic Touring fund to extend their programming until 2018 with four further productions planned and further Audience development projects. TCTC continues to form links with literacy projects around the country, as each production has an affiliated writing project run from its resources website THEATRECLOUD.



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