THERE OR HERE Starring Rakhee Thakrar Comes to Park Theatre

THERE OR HERE Starring Rakhee Thakrar Comes to Park TheatreThe UK Premiere of There or Here, from the producers of the 2013 hit Yellow Face (Park Theatre/National Theatre transfer), will open the PARK90 2018 season. With a cast that includes Rakhee Thakrar (EastEnders), Jennifer Maisel's dramatic comedy follows the journey of an inter-racial American couple who return to the country of his roots to outsource their pregnancy. The official press night will be on Thursday 25 January at 7pm.

2006. When illness prevents Robyn and Ajay from having a child of their own, they return to India - the country of Ajay's birth - to outsource their pregnancy to a local woman. As they come together to face this next step in their lives, they are unable to be the comfort the other needs. Through sharp writing and witty observation, There or Here explores what happens when couples forego face-to-face communication in favour of the virtual. Solace is found through strangers on phone sex lines, in IT call centres and at drive-thrus. Age and location no longer matter as the world moves online, and life becomes outsourced.

The cast includes Rakhee Thakrar, Chris Nayak, Ursula Mohan, Manish Gandhi and Lucy Fenton.

There or Here was a 2009 PEN West Literary Award finalist. It was also a finalist at the Sundance Theatre Lab (2007) and the O'Neill Theatre Conference (2008). It received its world premiere at the 14th Street Theater in New York on 9 September 2008.

Rakhee Thakrar is best known for playing the character of Shabnam Masood in Eastenders. She also plays the Eighth Doctor's companion, Bliss, in Big Finish's Doctor Who: The Time War audio dramas. She was nominated for Best Serial Drama performance at the 2016 National Television Awards. Her theatre credits include: Astronauts Of Hartlepool (Vaults Festival), Lalita's Big Fat Asian Wedding (Curve Leicester), Pyaar Hai (Rich Mix), Free Booze (Edinburgh Fringe), Retaliation (Peepul Centre), Cervical Monologues (various), Chale Ga Chale Ga (UK tour), Precious Bazaar (UK tour) and Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Phoenix Theatre).

Ursula Mohan's theatre credits include: You Forgot the Mince (Edinburgh Fringe & UK Tour), King Lear (Tristan Bates Theatre & Union Theatre), Hecuba (Scoop Theatre), Horniman's Choice (Finborough Theatre), The Veil (National Theatre), Dad's Army (UK Tour), The Drowsy Chaperone (Gatehouse Theatre), Tango (Royal Shakespeare Company), US (Royal Shakespeare Company), Making Tracks (Scarborough Theatre), Antigone (Greenwich Theatre), The Good Woman of Setzuan (Hampstead Theatre), A Murder is Announced (The Vaudeville), Revenge (Royal Court), Othello (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre) The Cenci (Almeida), Bloody Mary (Stratford East) and Scapino (Young Vic).

Chris Nayak's theatre credits include: King Lear (Shakespeare's Globe), Much Ado About Nothing, Love's Labour's Lost (RSC/ Theatre Royal Haymarket), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, The Christmas Truce, Love's Labour's Lost (RSC), A Midsummer Night's Dream (RSC/ Garsington Opera), Anita and Me (Stratford East), Macbeth (Little Angel Theatre), Leaving Planet Earth (Edinburgh International Festival), The Wind in the Willows, Arthur and George, East is East (Birmingham REP), Invasion! (Soho Theatre), She Stoops to Conquer, The League of Youth (Nottingham Playhouse), Stand Up Diggers All (Pentabus Theatre), Romeo and Juliet, Lisa's Sex Strike (Northern Broadsides), A Passage to India (Shared Experience), Indian Ink (Salisbury Playhouse), The Marriage of Figaro (Tara Arts), East is East (York Theatre Royal), Mother Goose and the Wolf (Greenwich Theatre) and Punchkin: Enchanter (London Bubble).

Manish Gandhi trained at LAMDA. His theatre credits include: Now We Are Here (Young Vic Theatre), Brown Shakespeare (Efua Theodora Sutherland Drama Studio, Legon-Accra), Rizwan (FTII Pune), Limbo (Prithvi Theatre Mumbai) and Cock (Prithvi Theatre, National Centre of Performing Arts, Mumbai).

Lucy Fenton trained at Drama Centre London. Her theatre credits include: Right of Way (Lost Theatre), Kiss (The White Bear), Little Women (Ingatestone Hall), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Baron's Court Theatre), Crime and Punishment (Baron's Court Theatre), A Man for All Seasons (Empty Space Theatre), Racing Demon (Empty Space Theatre) and The Death of Cuchulain (Edinburgh Fringe).

Director Vik Sivalingam trained on the Arts Council/ Birkbeck, University of London MFA in Theatre Directing. Following this, he became Director in Training at the New Wolsey Theatre from 2005 to 2006, and later in his career was the Resident Assistant Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2008-2011. His credits include works at The Old Vic, The Royal Court, Tricycle Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible, the New Wolsey Theatre and Headlong Theatre. He holds a PG Award in Teaching Shakespeare (RSC/ Warwick University) and has worked extensively at drama schools including LAMDA, Rose Bruford College, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Birmingham School of Acting, Arts Educational Schools, East 15 Acting School and WacArts.

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