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A Season of Bangla Drama returns in its 13th year

31Music, colour, dance, drama, and so much more are coming to stages across Tower Hamlets this November as A Season of Bangla Drama returns for its 13th year.
This year’s energetic and diverse theatre festival will see over 25 events taking place to captivate audiences across the borough. It brings together British and Bangladeshi writers, actors, directors and producers – all of whom have faced a tough selection process to whittle down the huge numbers of applications to the final programme. Some tales are hard hitting and tragic and others are light-hearted and comic but all have a deeper moral message to convey and touch on issues ranging from  corruption and greed to love and loss.
Events taking place this year include:
•    The Altab Ali Story. This powerful performance tells the heart breaking story of the death of Altab Ali in 1978
•    Missing Girls, which explores the consequences of being born as, or giving birth to, a girl. The production will tell true stories of women from around the world, and will be expressed through a variety of theatre and contemporary South Asian dance
•    a trilogy of works by Rabindranath Tagore. Three gripping and eerie paranormal stories, including truths told from beyond the grave by a skeleton to a medical student; a man who is the victim of his wife’s unhealthy obsession with jewellery; and a confrontation between rationalism and theosophy
•    Indara (The Water Well) – a tense drama set in 1947, during the time of great religious and geopolitical conflict. A man in a village, split into two highly segregated Hindu and Muslim communities, is pressured to reveal the religion of his new born baby. When an infant with no obvious identity is discovered hidden in the water well of the village, the plot thickens and tensions mount
•    Tringsha Shatabee (The Thirtieth Century). 70 years after World War Two, this production highlights the atom-bomb tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the terrible impact of subsequent conflicts to examine the ongoing ethical questions around war. It is presented by acclaimed Theatre Company Swapnadal who are coming from Bangladesh to make their UK debut.
The main programme of performances will be supplemented by a fringe programme of talks, walks and exhibitions. You can see all of the events at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/arts
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said: “A Season of Bangla Drama is a testament to the skills of the participating writers, actors and directors, many of whom are local, as well as a reminder of the power of theatre to engage, inform and move audiences. There are old and new tales told in both innovative and traditional ways which celebrate Anglo-Bengali culture and performance, but reach out to everyone.”
Cllr Asma Begum, cabinet member for culture, said: “Every year this season gets bigger and better. It is known across London as a cultural event like no other – that celebrates Bengali culture, but is accessible for all to come and enjoy. Make sure you check out these events!”
A Season of Bangla Drama is supported by Arts Council England, Queen Mary, University of London and Canary Wharf Group