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Paradise of the Assassins

The Novel (Paradise of Assassins) / the Author Abdul Halim Sharar was a progressive writer in Urdu in late 19th century India. Born in Lucknow just after the 1857 Mutiny against the British, he developed his writing career by serving as a correspondent for the Oudh Akhbar- an immensely popular Urdu weekly. It was here that he employed the format of a serialised novel as a literary vehicle. His view of the novel as a means of exploring a larger historical sense of mission remains a characterised feature of the Urdu novel down to the modern era.

Sharar completed this novel, his best known in 1899. The novel draws for its subject matter on the medieval cult of the Assassins. This was sect of Shia Muslims led by the enigmatic Hassan -i-Sabah, popularly known as the Old Man of the Mountain- reference to his fortress in Alamut in northern Iran, near the Caspian Sea.

In the novel Sharar provides not only a historical precedence, but also a perspective on terror as a political phenomenon. He writes of terror from the perspective of the perpetrator who turns out to be no less a victim. Sharar exposes the Paradise of the Assassins as a dystopia, a murderous illusion inspiring its fanatical believers. Addul Halim Shar died in 1926, having completed a 3 volume history of Islam on commission from Nizam of Hyderabad.

 

Anthony Clark (Writer/Director) is a multi-award winning director who first came to prominence for student productions of his own plays IVAN and YELLOW MONDAY, for which he won the RSC Buzz Goodbody Best Director’s Award at NSDF and a Special Production Award at LSDF respectively. Since then he has directed a host of critically acclaimed and award winning shows. He spent two years as an Assistant and then Resident Director at The Orange Tree Theatre, London; six years as Artistic Director of Contact Theatre, Manchester ; twelve years as Associate, and then Artistic Associate Director at The Birmingham Rep with special responsibility for the programming of The Door, and seven years as Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre, London. Throughout his career he has freelanced extensively including at The National Theatre, RSC, Bristol Old Vic, The Young Vic, Nottingham Playhouse, Watford Palace, Leicester Haymarket and Tara Arts.

Since 2010, he has been working as a freelance director, leading the MA Directing Course at Drama Centre, Central St Martins UAL, and writing.

 

Cast

Ralph Birtwell - MUSTAFA, KAZIM, MASTER OF THE CAVE

Training: LAMDA

Theatre: includes Romeo & Juliet, Richard III, The Relapse (Royal Shakespeare Company); The Royal Hunt Of The Sun, Market Boy, (National Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth (ESC); East Is East (Leicester Haymarket);Macbeth (Tara Arts); Sleeping Beauty,  Aladdin (Theatre Royal Stratford-East);Ali Baba And The 40 Thieves (The Theatre, Chipping Norton); Bombay Dreams(Apollo Victoria); Jesus Christ Superstar (UK/European Tour); The Far Pavilions(Shaftesbury Theatre); The Witches Of Eastwick (UK Tour); Call Me Madam (Union Theatre); Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Madinat Dubai); Aspire (The Dome Sports St Qatar); I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky (Southwark Playhouse); Tamburlaine (ON); Half N Half(Weston Studio,WMC); Bend It Like Beckham (Workshop) and A Subject Of Scandal & Concern (Finborough Theatre).

Television & Film: includes East Is East; Coronation Street; Harley Street; Law & Order; Crisis Command; Doctors; The Vice; The Cops; Clocking Off; Blood Strangers; Tales From Pleasure Beach; Shooting Stars and numerous commercials.

 

Rina Fatania - PARISA, PRINCESS 

Training: Central School of Speech and Drama

Theatre: includes Love N Stuff (Theatre Royal Stratford East, 2013 & 2016);  Dead Dog in a Suitcase (Kneehigh Theatre Company UK & International tour); Mummyji Presents (Birmingham Rep – The Door); Aladdin (De Montford Hall, Leicester); The Empress (RSC, The Swan Theatre); Dick Whittington (Hackney Empire); Wah! Wah! Girls (Sadler’s Wells/ UK Tour); Cinderella (Hackney Empire); Guantanamo Boy (Brolly Productions); Britain’s Got Bhangra (UK Tour); The Vagina Monologues (Alchemy Festival, Southbank); The House of Bilquis Bibi (Hampstead Theatre & UK Tour); Britain’s Got Bhangra (Rifco Arts); Wuthering Heights (Tamasha Theatre Co.); It Aint All Bollywood (Rifco Arts/ National & Pakistan Tour); A Fine Balance (Tamasha Theatre Co.); The Child of Divide (Tamasha Theatre Co/ New York & L.A Tour); Meri Christmas (Rifco Arts); The Deranged Marriage (Rifco Arts); Strictly Dandia (Tamasha Theatre Co.); Bombay Dreams (Apollo Victoria, West End) and Arabian Nights (Midland Arts Centre).

Film: includes Raabta (Bollywood Film); Digital-Mummji Presents (Character devised by Rina Fatania) (BBC Space/ Pravesh Kumar); Mumbai Charlie (Pukkanasha Films) and The Travel Londoner (Painting Pictures).

Radio: includes We Are Water (BBC World Service); Oceans Unite Us (BBC World Service) and Silver Street (BBC Asian Network).

Music Video: Mother, MC Soecial-Sanuvi (Cre8 Media), Wife, Kolaveri Di, Solo Productions

 

Skye Hallam - ZAMURRUD

Training: RADA

Theatre: includes Agamemnon, Troilus and Cressida, The Provok’d Wife, Othello, Dying For It, In Arabia We’d All Be, Kings and Kindertransport (RADA).

Film: includes Box 8275 and The Ness (RADA).

Radio: includes The Wall, Dombey and Son and Alice’s Wunderland (RADA).

 

Asif Khan - HUSSAIN

Training: RADA

Theatre: includes Love, Bombs & Apples (Arcola/UK Tour); Handbagged (UK Tour); Punjabi Boy (RichMix); Multitudes (Tricycle Theatre); The Nutcracker & The Mouse King (Unicorn Theatre); The Book (York Theatre Royal/UK Tour); Queen Of The Nile (Hull Truck); Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi (Arcola Theatre); The Snow Queen (Trestle/Unicorn Theatre/India Tour); Snookered (Bush Theatre/Tamasha); Payback (Ankur Productions); Twelfth Night (National Theatre) and Mixed Up North (Out of Joint).

Television: includes Man Down (Avalon/Channel 4); The Dumping Ground,Doctors, Spooks X, Casualty, Dalziel & Pascoe (BBC); Dark Matters (Discovery);The Liquid Bomb Plot (Raw TV); Going Postal (Mob Films) and Bradford Riots(Oxford Film & Television Productions/Channel 4).

Film: includes Love Type D (Midnight Circus Films) and Cufflinks (RADA). 

 

Naveed Khan - ALI VUJOODI

Training: The Oxford School of Drama.

Theatre: includes Darknet (Southwark Playhouse); Pitcairn (The Globe/Out of Joint); Pioneer (Curious Directive and Watford Palace Theatre); The Waiting Game (Kazzum Arts); 59 Minutes to Save Christmas (Slung Low with The Barbican 2013 and Sheffield Crucible 2015); These Bones of Mine (Curious Directive); After The Rainfall (Curious Directive); The Truth Teller (The King's Head); The Tagore Project (The West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Trial (Watford Palace Theatre); Lincoln Road (Eastern Angles) and Jerusalem (The Oxford Playhouse). Theatre credits in training include Plasticine (The Southwark Playhouse) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Blenheim Palace Open-Air). 

Television: includes Josh (BBC3); Birds of a Feather, Catherine Tate - Nan Specials and River.

Film: includes Second Coming (directed by Debbie Tucker Green) and Survivor (directed by James McTeigue).

 

Karl Seth - KHURSHAH

Training: LAMDA

Theatre: includes Taming of the Shrew, Dick Whittington (Mercury Theatre);The Firebird (Polka Children’s Theatre); Julius Caesar (Palace, Manchester and National tour); All on a Summer’s Day (Regent’s Park Open Air); Mixed Blessings(Palace, Westcliffe-on- Sea); The Flood (Rochdale); Hiawatha (Crucible, Sheffield); Elidor (Contact); Beauty and the Beast (Rochdale); The Jungle Book(Library, Manchester); The Bottle Imp (Major Road Theatre and National tour); The King and I (BOC Covent Garden Festival); The Snow Queen (Theatre Clwyd); East is East (Trafalgar Studios) and Bend It Like Beckham (Phoenix Theatre).

Television & Film: Includes Jobs for the Boys; Merseybeat; Young Indiana Jones Chronicles; The Piglet Files and Four Lions.

 

Mitesh Soni – MUSA

Training: Guildford School of Acting

Theatre: includes Coming Up (Watford Palace); Macbeth (Tara Arts & Black Theatre Live, UK Tour); Romeo & Juliet (National Theatre);The Good Person of Sichuan (Colchester); Arabian Nights (Manchester Library Theatre); This Place Means (Greenwich); The Firework Maker’s Daughter (Theatre by the Lake, Keswick); The Rise & Fall of Little Voice (Dukes, Lancaster); Peter Pan (New Vic Stoke); Rafta Rafta (Bolton Octagon/New Vic Stoke); The Jungle Book (Birmingham Stage Company UK Tour); Cloud Pictures (Polka Theatre); Mercury Fur (Goldsmiths); Lord of the Flies (Pilot Theatre UK tour); Meteorite (Hampstead Theatre); Cloud 9 (Queen Mother Theatre) and Blood Wedding (Edinburgh Festival).

Television: includes The Agency, Run, Threesome and The Canterbury Tales

Film: includes Rise of The Footsoldier 2, Syriana, Ghost of Life, Nine Lives London, Alpha Mayall and Lost Night.

Awards: 2012 Manchester Theatre Award- Best Ensemble – Arabian Nights

 

Tripti Tripuraneni - MARJAN

Training: Tripti recently graduated from the Guildhall school of Music and Drama and is very excited to be making her professional debut with Paradise of the Assassins.

Theatre: whilst training include On the Twentieth Century, Top Girls, Lulu, The Secret Rapture, Richard II, Trojan Women, Into The Woods, Habeas Corpus, Separate Tables, Love for Love and Marine Parade.