Theatre – Wed 27 – Sat 30 Nov. 7.30pm
Shahrukh Khan means different things to each of the three lodgers of Serene Cottage. Leading separate lives, these middle-aged women come together once a week for their ‘King of Bollywood’ fan club meetings, gathered around the DVD player held in the communal lounge of their suburban home. Until one day a young man appears on their doorstep and turns their lives upside down
If Only Shahrukh Khan
By Rani Moorthy
Release Date: Immediate
- 3 spinsters, 1 superstar and a young Kenyan looking for his mother.
- Join the Shahrukh Khan fan club and prepare for a bumpy ride
Shahrukh Khan means different things to each of the three lodgers of Serene Cottage. Leading separate lives, these middle-aged women come together once a week for their ‘King of Bollywood’ fan club meetings, gathered around the DVD player held in the communal lounge of their suburban home.
Twenty-five years ago, Rose Pereira, wanting a simple life after a tumultuous life in three continents, India, Kenya and now London, put an advert in her local west London paper:
“Two rooms to let and leave your past on the doorstep”.
Pindy Patel’s parents hid her as a child in one of the stores cupboards when local Kenyan looters broke into their Mombasa shop in1968. Her three days spent in darkness haunts her till today.
Leaving her past at the doorstep appealed to Kasi, who wishes she could erase it altogether. Hiding her true Tamil identity Kasi joins in the fuss over Bollywood, learns Hindi, and to Rose and Pindy, she passes as Indian. Even after all this time, her life is still in danger if anyone knew who she really was.
The weekly Shahrukh Khan fan club meetings give them joy and fun. The audience are part of the fan club contributing questions and answers and are invited to join in the improvised banter. Rose, Pindy and Kasi are able to act out their devotion to King Khan and after every meeting they retreat to their own rooms and the audience gets an intimate account of their inner lives and thoughts.
They appear to be marking time. Until the arrival of a young Kenyan man Opiyo, looking for his biological mother.
If Only Shahrukh Khan has all the elements that make Rasa a groundbreaking company with a distinct style and bold approach to revealing the immigrant experience.
- The trio of Asian women who come to Britain via Kenya is an exploration of the concept of the “aunti-ji”, the spinster aunt, who without the husband and children to root her, remains a figure of mystery at best or of ridicule at worst.
- The Kenyan connection also unravels the tensions between native black Africans and the Asian in East Africa. Tensions often played out in major cities in Britain and in gang culture. The ugly issue of skin prejudice that was explored in a previous Rasa production Shades of Brown.
- The idolatry of Shahrukh Khan often becomes the new religion, the demi-God that lets them live a life of the present and discard the shackles of the past
- Opiyo represents all that they have forgotten and left behind, almost as much as their estrangement from family ties.
Based in Manchester, Rasa celebrates the enduring migrant experience through powerful and exciting theatre. Rasa tours nationally and internationally, it has taken work to South Africa, USA, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and Milan.
Notes to Editors
Rani Moorthy Writer
Rani has written for BBC 1 Doctors, BBC Radio 4 drama, an adaptation of her stage play Curry Tales and the Woman hour series Whose Sari Now. Her short film Incense was funded by Film Council and shown in festivals in Edinburgh, Cannes, New York and screened on ITV. Her play Curry Tales was nominated for a MEN best Fringe production and Too Close to Home was nominated as MEN best New Play award. Commissions include Handful of Henna for Sheffield Crucible and text for Shobna Jeyasingh’s Just Add Water, which premiered at the Royal Opera House. This is Rani’s ninth play for Rasa.
Ruth Carney-Nash Director
Ruth recently directed Each Madman on his High Horse by Martin Derbyshire and was Associate Director to Matthew Warchus on Ghost the Musical. As Associate Director at Sheffield Theatres Ruth directed the highly acclaimed Sisters by Stephanie Street and Confessions of a City by Richard Hurford. Prior to this Ruth was Associate Director to Matthew Warchus on Lord of the Rings at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and the national Tour of Our House by Tim Firth.Ruth’s’ directing credits include the professional premiere of The Laramie Project and the World Premiere of The Lemon Princess by Rachael McGill from an original idea by Ruth Carney-Nash.Ruth has an MA in Theatre Directing from The Russian Theatre Academy Moscow, and Middlesex University and she runs her own performing arts school Carney Academy www.carneyacademy.co.uk
Theatre includes: The Snow Queen (Unicorn Theatre, Trestle India tour), Great Expectations (ETT), Rafta Rafta (National Theatre), Where’s My Desi Soulmate, Deranged Marriage (Rifco), Bhena (Soho)
TV Includes: Eastenders (Bushra), Casualty (semi-regular), Spy, Doctors, The Bill, Holby City, Grease Monkeys (Regular)
Radio Includes: An Everydays Story of Afghan Folk, Silver Street (Regular), Pather Panchali, Maps for Lost Lovers, Love Boat, Hands, Behind Closed Doors.
Rani Moorthy is artistic director of Rasa and most recent television appearance was as Mrs Bilal in the BBC2 sitcom Citizen Khan, Series 1 & 2. Other television credits include Cold Feet, Coronation Street, A&E, Prisoners Wives and Moving On (Series 3). Film work includes: All in Good time and Twenty8K.
Bharti Patel is Coventry born and bred and proud of it. She has worked nationally and internationally in TV, theatre, radio and site specific shows as an actress and director.
Takunda Kramer trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Theatre includes: Othello (RADA) dir by Leo Wringer, Brothersize (RADA) dir by Burt Ceaser, Midnight Train to Sunrise (Tiata Fahodzi/ Africa Centre) dir Sibusiso Mamba, 12th Night (Orange Tree Theatre) dir Henry Bell, Sour Lips (Oval House Theater) dir Carissa Hope-Lynch, Shakespeare in Love (Sadler Wells Theater) dir by Declan Donnellan, Chasing the Moon (Africa Centre) dir Mimi Poskitt, Eye of the Needle (Bush Attic) dir Stella Powell
If Only Shahrukh Khan – Details
Watermans, London Wednesday 27th November-30th November,
Box Office: 0208 2321010
Fareda Khan (Rasa Project Manager)
M: 0779 4619717
Shamaila Khan (Rasa Marketing/Outreach North West region)
M: 07779 010767
Irna Qureshi (Rasa Marketing/Outreach West Yorkshire region)
M: 07740 708709