Post by Philipa Vafadari, Thursday 17th June, 2010
We arrived late last night and havn’t really recovered from the journey but are already straight in with a meeting at The British Council offices today – they gave us the travel, visas and accommodation money through their Connections Through Culture fund. John (Binnie), Tanika (Gupta) and Q(uasar Padamsee) are interviewing potential actors for the role of the Father in the piece and I have snuck away to write this on one of the BC computers as my internet connection isn’t working at the hotel.
We are meeting 6 older actors today, all but one of whom are Parsee. So far they have been fascinating to talk to about their lives and experiences. It is a bit different here to England though, acting in the theatre is often on a semi-professional basis and, because it is very poorly paid most people have other professions. So far we have met a Business consultant and an airline pilot! Bollywood, of course, pays really well… I say it is different, but how many actors in the UK can say that acting is their full-time job?
3 of the actors we meet today will be invited to workshop with us over three days at the weekend. It’s a packed schedule but we want to make the most of our time here.
Tonight is dinner hosted by Q’s mother Dolly Thakore. There will be about 15 guests – all either writers, poets, actors or directors. It is going to be a fascinating trip.
Tomorrow are meetings with two Parsee newspapers to tell them about the project so that they are on board for the previews and reviews if it tours India in autumn 2011. Also a meeting with the CEO of the National Centre of Performing Arts, Khusrow Suntook about taking the show.
Here is a vidoe of the Work-in-progress at the Alchemy Festival at Sounthbank Centre in April 2010 as part of the Connections through Culture programme.