Kali Theatre

KALI TALKBACK FESTIVAL: Talkback 2012 Readings

Kali Talkback Festival

Talkback 2012 Readings

Readings of seven rich, bold and provocative new plays

Kali celebrates 21 years of cutting edge theatre by South Asian women with a festival of rich and diverse contemporary plays by some of the most original voices in theatre writing. The Festival begins with a reading of Song for A Sanctuary, the first play produced by Kali in 1991. Six other readings are the culmination of Kali’s nine month Writer Development Programme.

Come and experience some of the freshest and most original voices in new theatre writing.

Mon 3 December – 8pm

Song For A Sanctuary

by Rukhsana Ahmad

Directed by Aileen Gonsalves

When Rajinder arrives at a women’s refuge to escape her violent husband, her religious commitment and conformity to tradition lead to clashes with radical refuge worker, Kamla. Lost in their battle for the soul of Rajinder’s teenage daughter, Savita, both women forget the dangers of a breach of security, with disastrous consequences…

This was the first play produced by Kali. It was presented at the Lyric, Hammersmith and on a national tour. It was also broadcast by BBC Radio4 and nominated for a Susan Smith Blackburn Award.

Sat 8 December – 3pm (Double bill)


by Iman Qureshi

Directed by Poonam Brah

Five sexy, sassy and cynical twenty-somethings come together at a speed-dating event. A banker in denial, a writer with a hang-up, a publicist with a penchant for sexagenarians, a jilted musician and a shrink with a secret reveal their misanthropy and closeted desires in a wry comedy of heartbreak and loneliness. In a culture obsessed by the pursuit of money, love and success, Speed examines what we lose in the process.

I Killed My Best Friend’s Father

by Sushma Joshi

Directed by Rosamunde Hutt

What happens when a war ends and the people left behind have to deal with the consequences? Two teenage girls are displaced by the conflict in Nepal. The father of one has killed the father of the other. As the ghosts of their fathers linger nearby, still fighting between themselves, the two girls battle to preserve their friendship and survive in a hostile world…

Mon 10 December – 8pm


by Nessah Muthy

Directed by Trilby James

What does it mean to be ‘English’ in modern England? Pickaninny explores what it means to grow up in a white English household but have the skin colour of what the outside world deems as non-English. English/Mauritian Zorah, returns to her white English grandparents for Christmas with a myriad of secrets, questions and a desire to reunite with her estranged Mauritian father. There, Zorah must face the toughest challenge of her life….

Sat 15 December – 3pm (Double bill)

Behind The Twenty-Second Floor Window

by Farrah Chaudhry

Directed by Rosamunde Hutt

2071, A totalitarian era of segregation and racial partition. People live in high rise buildings with blocked up windows. One day the window on the twenty-second floor of High Rise 0501 is exposed. Ahmed and Karolyn meet while investigating. Ahmed dreams of Kashmir where his father comes from. Karolyn dreams of having a family of her own. Is Kashmir the answer to Ahmed’s questions or do the answers lie behind the twenty-second floor window?


by Manjeet Mann

Directed by Trilby James

Dee’s community service is coming to an end, Pippa is at the Occupy London camp and Chrissy is having a hard time getting his rose bush to bloom. When the council threatens to sell the allotment for a luxury apartment block the protest moves there from St Pauls, triggering a tale of corruption, bribery and revenge.

Sat 22 Dec – 3pm

Still Life

by Aamina Ahmad

Directed by Janet Steel

When Colonel Tariq, an Intelligence Officer in Pakistan’s notorious secret service discovers an American has killed a prostitute in Lahore’s red light district, a diplomatic crisis ensues. While the two nations negotiate, angry mobs gather and political tension mounts. As professional ambition and private life collide, Tariq faces life changing decisions with far reaching consequences for his family and country.

Read Kali’s Artistic Director, Janet Steel talking about the current state of South Asian UK theatre in the Guardian here.



All tickets £10