2014 – 7th March – International Women’s Day – pre-show chat with playwright

The Husbands, a fantastic new play from Shropshire’s Pentabus Theatre Company, is coming to The Ludlow Assembly Rooms on Friday 7 March. This will be the final date of its tour before it goes on to a 13 night residency at the Soho Theatre in London.  As part of the Assembly Rooms’ celebration of International Women’s Day, the Ludlow Assembly Rooms has arranged a special pre-show chat with The Husbands’ playwright, Sharmila Chauhan, and artistic director, Elizabeth Freestone, from 6.45pm in the auditorium. They will be discussing the inspiration behind the play, its social, political and cultural context, and how the issues it tackles relate to International Women’s Day.

KALI THEATRE & PENTABUS THEATRE PRESENT

THE HUSBANDS

By Sharmila Chauhan

Directed by Janet Steel
Creative Associate Elizabeth Freestone

Ludlow Assembly Rooms: Friday 7 March, 7.30pm

Tickets £12/£10 concessions/4 for £36

With a special pre-show chat from 6.45pm in the auditorium with Writer Sharmila Chauhan and Artistic Director Elizabeth Freestone as part of the Assembly Room’s celebration of International Women’s Day.

The Husbands is a provocative new play about love, jealousy and a woman’s right to choose. A co-production between award-winning Kali Theatre and Shropshire’s Pentabus Theatre, The Husbands will come to The Ludlow Assembly Rooms on Fri 7 March at 7.30pm as part of its UK tour.

It starts on Aya’s wedding day. Her third. In a society in which there are few women, that’s just what happens. But as the household prepares for the wedding feast, a stranger arrives – one who threatens to challenge everything they believe in.

The Husbands is an imaginative response to the real issue of female infanticide that has become widespread in rural India.  Girls are often seen a drain on precious family resources whereas sons are seen as valuable assets, meaning some female babies are aborted or killed soon after birth. Because of the resulting gender imbalance, it has become increasingly common for two men or more to share a wife.

In The Husbands, Sharmila Chauhan imagines a society where this has become the norm, weaving a moving tale of love, jealousy and power using vivid, poetic language to show this extraordinary but believable new world.

Sharmila comments “In parts of India, polyandry has become a necessity. I wrote The Husbands both as a response to this but also as an exploration of the complexities of love, intimacy and trust between one woman and three men.

“According to recent press reports, sex-selective abortions are being carried out in the UK today. In a sense this play is as much a warning as an allegory for the fate of women in The West today.”

According to research by The Independent in January 2014, “The illegal abortion of female foetuses solely to ensure that families have sons is widely practised within some ethnic communities in Britain and has resulted in significant shortfalls in the proportion of girls. The practice of sex-selective abortion…has led to the “disappearance” of between 1,400 and 4,700 females from the national census records of England and Wales.”

Sharmila Chauhan was shortlisted for the Asian New Writer award and chosen for the Royal Court’s Critical Mass programme. Her short stories have been published online and in print, including Tell Tales Vol 2 and Happy Birthday to Me.  She is also a pharmacologist and so her work life mixes medicine, prose and plays.

The Husbands is directed by Janet Steel, Artistic Director of Kali Theatre Company who has directed over 30 readings of new work and 11 productions for the company. Her directing credits include Behzti (The Rep), April in Paris, Bretevski Street, A Hard Rain, Top Girls (Northampton Royal), Millennium Mysteries, Big School (Belgrade Coventry).

Creative Associate for The Husbands, Elizabeth Freestone has directed The Duchess of Malfi, Volpone, The School for Scandal, Dr Faustus (Greenwich), Romeo and Juliet (Globe tour), Here Lies Mary Spindler (RSC/Latitude), The Tragedy of Thomas Hobbes (RSC/Wilton’s) and her adaptation of The Rape of Lucrece (RSC) premiered at the Edinburgh Festival last summer.

Listings Information

Kali and Pentabus Theatre
The Husbands
By Sharmila Chauhan

It’s Aya’s wedding day. Her third. Her current two husbands aren’t too fussed. In a society in which there are few women, that’s just what happens. But as the household prepares for the wedding feast, a stranger arrives – one who threatens to challenge everything they believe in. The Husbands is an explosive new play about love, jealousy and a woman’s right to choose 

Ludlow Assembly Rooms: Friday 7 March, 7.30pm

Tickets £12/£10 concessions/4 for £36

With a pre-show chat with Writer Sharmila Chauhan and Artistic Director Elizabeth Freestone as part of the Assembly Room’s International Women’s Day programme. 

ENDS

Words: 658

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Ludlow Assembly Rooms contact:

Tony Johnston

Marketing & Publicity Officer

01584 813711

tony@ludlowassemblyrooms.co.uk

Writer Sharmila Chauhan and Pentabus Artistic Director Elizabeth Freestone are available for interview.

For interviews contact freelance press agent Yasmeen Khan at  yasmeen_khan_pr@hotmail.com

Or call 07788 136568

For general enquiries call Pentabus on 01584 856564

Kali presents ground breaking theatre writing by South Asian women. They seek out and nurture strong individual writers who challenge our perceptions through original and thought-provoking theatre. Further information from http://www.kalitheatre.co.uk

Pentabus is a contemporary theatre company, producing original plays about the rural world for local and national audiences. Based on a farm in Shropshire, we make a real commitment to the creative health of the countryside, encouraging artists to draw from it and urging communities to participate in it.  Pentabus has a track record of presenting stories which have a brand new perspective on the rural world and is thrilled to be working with Kali Theatre to present a global rural story. Further information from www.pentabus.co.uk

 

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