Kali Writers

 

Sharon Raizada
Black-i Oval House Theatre October 2010
Black-i is Sharon’s first full length play. It was given a rehearsed reading at Kali Theatre’s Talk Back Festivalat Rich Mix, London in May 2009 at the culmination of Kali’s Writer Development Programme. She is a graduate of the MA in Playwriting at Birmingham University. Her short play After was presented at Hampstead Theatre in February 2010 in Angle Theatre’s Start Night, QuadrANGLE. Her story Lady Play was broadcast on Radio 4 as the Afternoon Reading in Opening Lines 2007 and she has produced award-winning short films.

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Bettina Gracias
Gandhi and Coconuts Arcola Theatre November 2010 Singh Tangos On Tour 2003
Bettina’s first play Mangos and Sacher Torte was read at Soho Theatre and presented by Kali as part of More Dramatic Encounters in October 1997. Paines Plough presented Indian Moon, a 30 minute piece, at the Bridewell Theatre as part of the Wild Lunch series. In January 1999, she was invited to a BBC New Writer’s workshop to develop ideas with producers and directors which resulted in BBC Radio 4 commissioning Goan Flame. She has since written 6 other plays for Radio 4 and the World Service, including an adaptation of Singh Tangos which was produced for the stage by Kali Theatre. She has also written a one off drama 'The Wedding Party' for BBC TV. Her latest stage play Other was read at Soho Theatre and was short-listed for the Verity Bargate Award. Bettina is currently working on a new radio play and a new stage play at present. She has been funded by the Arts council to work on her own play 'Tibet House' which will have a reading in London in August. Bettina has written 10 plays for radio 4. Her latest one 'My Name is Iqbal Mesih' won the Clarion Award for best radio drama last year and her radio series for BBC radio Berkshire 'The Plot' won the Sony gold award.

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Sonali Bhattacharyya
A Thin Red Line Community Tour 2007
Sonali has written extensively for the BBC, including commissions for Eastenders, Holby City, Doctors and Casualty. She has written for the Afternoon Play and Woman’s Hour on Radio Four and numerous episodes for Silver Street on the BBC Asian Network. Her theatre commissions include A Thin Red Line for Kali Theatre, the Birmingham Rep and Black Country Touring, These Four Streets for the Birmingham Rep, and the South Bank Show Award nominated White Open Spaces for Pentabus Theatre Company. She's currently working on a new screenplay for Eyeline Productions and a radio play for the BBC.

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Azma Dar
Paper Thin On Tour February/March 2006
Azma studied Art at Central Saint Martin’s, and Literature and History of Art with the Open University. Her first play, Chaos, was produced by Kali in 2005, followed by Paper Thin in 2006, with Waterman’s. In 2007 she collaborated with Conflict Zone Theatre on Closing Time, which was shown at the Edinburgh Festival, and in the same year an extract from her novel, The Secret Arts won the New Writing Ventures Award for Fiction. Her recent work includes the play Ode To My Sisters, a commission for Images of Elsewhere, and a creative writing project for local women’s groups. Azma is currently working on new plays, a film and a novel.

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Sonia Likhari
Behna (Sisters)Kali Futures 2005
Sonia took a sabbatical from her full time legal practice in 2004 to focus on a writing and performance career. Acting experience includes ‘Chopra Town’ (BBC/Hat Trick) and ‘The Trouble With Asian Men’ (Tamasha, Soho Theatre and tour). ‘Behna (Sisters)’ her first play was developed with Kali and originally performed at Soho Theatre as a workshop production. In 2010 Behna was presented as a site-specific co-production between Kali, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Black Country Touring. Sonia spent a year with Tamasha as Artist in Residence during which time she wrote a new play ‘Eyrie’. Set in 1984 against the background of ‘Operation Bluestar’ this play is still in development. She has written a number of episodes for BBC Asian Network’s ‘Silver Street’, an episode of the new children’s' programme 'Planet Ajay' (Foundation TV/CBBC) and co-wrote with Rifco Arts’ ‘Where’s My Desi Soulmate?’ She is currently under commission by the REP and Kali to write a new play ‘Bazaar’.

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Yasmin Whittaker-Khan
Bells On Tour 2005
Recent work includes Love Stomp, Pleasure and Pain, Lucy (with Kadam Dance Co). Yasmin has been developing a new play for Theatre Royal Stratford East about Asian women who've been incarcerated in the UK, and is also under commission to M6 Theatre Company and Pentabus. Film: Lemon Juke Box (a five minute short). She has developed Le Grand Jour, a short film by Revolution Films for refugee week. TV: Yasmin researched, scripted and co-presented a series for Anglia TV (With Paul Ross). Radio: BBC Radio Asian Network's Silver Street. Bells opened in Athens, Greece in November 2005.

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Lekha Desai Morrison
The Banyan Tree Kali Shorts & Futures 2005
Lekha was born in Africa, spent part of her childhood in India and the rest in Coventry. She now lives with her family in Oxford from where she runs her own Quality and Environmental services business. She has always wanted to write since watching a vibrant outdoor production of The Mahabharata as a child in an Indian village. A published poet and short story writer, she has focused her attention on drama in recent years. She has had two radio plays commissioned by BBC Radio 4. The second, Behind Closed Doors, was broadcast in August and selected by the Observer, Financial Times and the Yorkshire Post as their choice for listening. The play has also been requested by the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) organisation for their use. The Banyan Tree is Lekha's first stage play.

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Bapsi Sidhwa
Sock ‘em With Honey On Tour 2004
Born and educated in Pakistan, acclaimed author of 5 novels, short fiction and essays, Bapsi has received numerous honours including the Sitara-I-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest national award in the arts. She received the Bunting Fellowship at Harvard, the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Award and the Italian Primo Mondello 2007.
Her third novel, Ice-Candy-Man/Cracking India, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and became the basis of Deepa Mehta’s award winning 1999 film, Earth. Reviewers have praised her “luminous prose, Rabelaisian language and humour… also both delicate and precise… with words chosen as carefully as pieces of inlay in a marble wall.” Her novels Water, An American Brat, Cracking India, The Bride and The Crow Eaters, have been translated into several languages. An altered version of Sock ‘em With Honey was produced in 2006 as An American Brat by Stages Repertory Theatre, Houston, in 2006.

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Shelley Silas
Calcutta Kosher National Tour 2004
Shelley was born in Calcutta and grew up in North London. Her stage plays include Eating Ice Cream on Gaza Beach (NYT/Soho Theatre), Falling (The Bush Theatre, Pearson Writer-in-Residence), Calcutta Kosher with Kali (Southwark Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, Theatre Royal Stratford East), Mercy Fine, (Southwark Playhouse, Birmingham Rep). Her plays for BBC Radio 4 include, I am Emma Humphreys, The Sound of Silence (short-listed for the Imison Award), Ink, Calcutta Kosher, Molly’s Story in Celluloid Extras, The Magpie Stories (devised and co-wrote), Collective Fascination, Nothing Happened (with Luke Sorba). She adapted Hanan Al-Shaykh’s novel Only in London,and Paul Scott’s The Raj Quartet (with John Harvey). She’s developing a series for Monkey Kingdom, The Barkers, and has written a television film for Touch Paper TV, The Wedding Dress. A TV comedy series co-written with Luke Sorba, was optioned by DLT. Shelley compiled and edited the short story anthology, 12 Days, published by Virago. She has written and performed specially commissioned short stories at the Cheltenham Literature Festival and the Hexham Book Festival and has contributed stories to Little Black Dress and The Flash. She is currently writing two commissioned plays for BBC Radio Four, Mr Jones Goes Driving and The People Next Door, as well as a new stage play.

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Anu Kumar
London Fields Kali Futures 2004
Anu is a writer and theatre practitioner. Her work includes: Waterfall, Ashfield Theatre Croydon, Pick of the Week, Time Out; The Ecstasy, Oval House Theatre; London Fields a Rehearsed reading with Kali at Soho Theatre. She is currently working on her digital interactive theatre project for the sensory impaired “Sensorinet”.

Anu has been making work for theatre since age 14 from original student productions, Edinburgh Festivals and one off projects. She continues to write for theatre, work with dancers and musicians and train in yoga and capoeira. Anu is a practicing GP in Hackney and Greenwich.

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Nina Patel
King Saturn Kali Futures 2004
Nina was born and grew up in London. She has a degree in Business Studies, worked as a fashion designer for ten years and lived in India and the United States. King Saturn is her first full length play for theatre and is inspired by events that have taken place in Mumbai. Her published works include fashion articles, a short story, and poems for the SALIDAA website. Nina is currently working on two novels for teenagers and doing an NOCN in Illustration.

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Rukhsana Ahmad
River on Fire Full Production & Tour 2000/01
Rukhsana Ahmad has consistently written and adapted plays for the stage and BBC Radio, achieving distinction in both. Stage plays include: Song for a Sanctuary, (nomination Susan Smith Blackburn International Prize) The Gate-Keeper's Wife, Black Shalwar, River on Fire, (shortlist Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2002) The Man who refused to be God, (2003) Last Chance and Partners in Crime (2004). Radio plays and adaptations include: Song for a Sanctuary, (CRE, runner-up prize) An Urnful of Ashes, The Errant Gene, Nawal El Saadawi's Woman at Point Zero, Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, (shortlist CRE award and Writers' Guild award for best adaptation) and R. K. Narayan's The Guide (nominated for Sony). She wrote for Westway (BBC World Service Drama) for over a year.

Rukhsana's first novel, The Hope Chest is published by Virago. Several short stories have been anthologised, most recently in the UK, Walking a Tightrope (Pan McMillan) Canada and India, And Then the World Changed (Women Unlimited). Rukhsana is currently working as the lead writer for a pilot drama series for the World Service Trust in tandem with an original play, Annie's Indian Home Rule, based on her Indian years and an adaptation of Nadeem Aslam's Maps for Lost Lovers for Woman's Hour.

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