TALES OF BIRBAL to Tour the UK this Autumn

TALES OF BIRBAL to Tour the UK this Autumn

As India celebrates 70 years of independence, Mashi theatre look further back in history, a time of magic, mysticism and storytelling. Tales of Birbal brings fables handed down generation to generation across the Indian sub-continent to stages across the UK for families of all backgrounds.

Mashi and Bhanji are travelling story-tellers, living hand-to-mouth with just a wooden cart, trinkets they have collected on their travels, and a family of mischievous crows for company. Stopping one day for lunch, they recreate mythical tales of the great Mughal King Akbar and his wise companion, Birbal. How can a man survive a night in a freezing lake? How many crows are there in a kingdom? Only Birbal knows! Using humour, puppetry, music and the occasional fake beard, Mashi and Bhanji bring to vivid life these famous tales that have been treasured for generations.

Mashi Theatre was established in 2013 to present high quality diverse work within the performing arts, particularly for young people. A 'Mashi' in the Asian culture meaning 'aunt' not necessarily a blood relative; a playmaker, confidante, keeper of stories and teller of tales.

Artistic director Trina Haldar moved into theatre following a short career in science/engineering, via First Stage, Live and Direct, Design Direct, DirectorsLab (Chicago) & ASSITEJ (Berlin), The Optimists (China Plate, Establishing networks and Producing skills) and Step Change (National Theatre) and most recently she attended The Clore Short Course. Trina is a respected expert in the field of diversity in the arts with a young people's focus and has spoken on numerous panels across the UK. As a director credits include productions at Curve Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Tara Arts, Soho Theatre and recently Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai. Internationally, Trina has links with Affro Reggae (Rio, Brazil) and Te R?kau Theatre (Wellington, New Zealand) and more recently was awarded the International Artists Development Fund to create work with Thespo Theatre in Mumbai and establish connections with organisations across India. Trina is on the board of experimental children's theatre company Theatre-Rites.

Composer Arun Ghosh is a clarinettist, composer and music educator. Awarded 'Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year' at the 2014 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, Ghosh is a renowned innovator of the modern IndoJazz style. He has released three albums: Northern Namaste, Primal Odyssey, and A South Asian Suite. His latest record, But Where Are You Really From? is being released in October 2017. Since his professional debut in 2002, composing the score for Storm by Lemn Sissay at contact, Manchester, Ghosh has composed and sound-designed over seventy theatre and dance productions, including work with: Royal Exchange Theatre, Watford Palace, Salisbury Playhouse, Bolton Octagon, Library Theatre, and Unicorn, as well as regular compositions for Tamasha, Kali, Cardboard Citizens and National Youth Theatre. Ghosh recently made his debut at The Globe as MD, composer and live musician in Lions and Tigers. His current shows are Finding Nana (New Perspectives) and remounts of Child Of The Divide (Polka) and Tales of Birbal (Mashi). Repertoire includes a live score of Lotte Reiniger's The Adventures of Prince Achmed, Spitalfields Suite, and electronic dance score, A Handful Of Dust. Artist residencies: Jazz Electives, Symphony Hall, Birmingham; Spitalfields Music; Spark Children's Festival; Alchemy Festival, Southbank; The Albany, Deptford. In association with British Council, Ghosh has run international music residencies in Morocco, Kuwait, UAE, Ukraine, Kenya and China.

Writer Sayan Kent comes from London and lives in Coventry. Her comedy My Big Fat Cowpat Wedding (Kali/Black Country Touring) proved a huge hit last autumn when it toured up and down the country to village halls far and wide. Other plays include Endless Light (Southwark Playhouse), two short plays for 'Women Redressed', Skin (Park Theatre) and Jessica (Arcola), Another Paradise, (Edinburgh/tour - shortlisted for the John Whiting Award), The Contract (Joint winner of the Capital New Writing Festival), The Predator (Open Door@The Rep, reading), Like Happy Stuff (Short play in Kali Theatre's '12' at Tristan Bates), Shared Memories Monologues 1 and 2 (Curve Leicester and Arcola), Antigone's Sister (Birmingham Rep, Young Rep), Invisible (2010/2011 mac Birmingham), Killing Wasps, (Soho Theatre, reading), The Good Companions (New Vic Stoke, Belgrade Coventry, Wolsey Ipswich, Keswick), Silas Marner, Mother Goose, Dick Whittington, Aladdin (Belgrade, Coventry). She is a member of West Midlands writing Collective BoldText Playwrights. Sayan is also a composer and has written a wide range of music and songs for over 30 productions, she trained at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama (Community Theatre Arts) and the University of Birmingham (Playwriting Sudies, Mphil).


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