by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti
Directed by Janet Steel
A group of diverse Londoners struggle to leave a city transformed by climate change and the rise of religious extremism. This magical, savage tale of escape from a future which has become more like the past creates a compelling theatrical comment on our present.
In AD2050, London, a city that we all know and can recognize has become a terrifying and savage place, evolved from the chaos and instability the world faces in 2009. The rise of neo-conservatism and religious extremism has gone on to form a society full of judgment and violence where surveillance and repression are considered legitimate means of protecting people. Catastrophic rises in sea levels and has left a new geography of independent continents. London is now an island, run as a feudal kingdom, like the rest of Europe.
The new patriarchal establishment is based on mediaeval and Shariah law and encompasses all social functions including trade, and so has replaced capitalism as an absolutist way of life across all of Europe. China and India are the new world superpowers while Istanbul, is a place of relative freedom where liberals congregate and so It is to here that the characters of the play set out to reach.
The play’s characters represent the arc of multiculturalism that permeates London; each with their own reasons for wanting to get to Istanbul and freedom. The idea of the fair will play an integral part in their journey and the play; representing everything that in this new world is repressed: imagination, theatre, magic, creativity and spirit; dark as well as light.
As we follow these intriguing and inspiring characters overcome the emotional and physical obstacles along their way we aim to take the audience on a huge visual and emotional journey, to present a futuristic epic, a dazzling theatrical portent of days yet to come. For Kali the piece will be a vital step in our own journey of development from simple studio plays to substantial mid-scale productions of work that breaks out of simple domestic situations to explore and comment on global social and political issues.
Responding to the challenge of depicting the climbing of mountains and the crossing of seas with elements of physical and visual theatre, in conjunction with a well written script will liberate a new creativity and add an exciting extra dimension to Kali’s work. AD2050 presents us with an exciting opportunity to create piece of epic and sophisticated South Asian inspired and produced theatre.
This mid-scale commission is the the first collaboration between Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti and Janet Steel since the controversial production of
Bhetzi at Birmingham Rep. Kali presented an extract at the Decibel festival and the scrip is now under development. We hope to tour a full production soon.
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