Three Sat Under The Banyan Tree
Shamser Sinha (Writer) is a father, playwright and academic. His writing credits include Khadija Is 18 (Finborough Theatre / winner of Pearson Playwright Award) and The Dissidents (formerly Tricycle Theatre, now Kiln Theatre). Short plays include Like a Prayer (Rose Bruford/Bush Theatre) and Bredders (Rich Mix). He’s currently writing: ‘Ujamaa‘, a play with music, funded through an Arts Council award and supported by Eclipse Theatre and National Theatre Studio; One Day We Bought a White Skoda Octavia with Eastern Angles also supported by the Arts Council; and Abebe’s Rocket with Farnham Maltings/House. Additionally, he’s working with Pentabus Theatre on a new play. His book written with Les Back – Migrant City was published in July this year.
Jatinder Verma MBE (Director|) Born in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania and grew up in Nairobi, Kenya. Migrated to Britain in 1968. Co-founded Tara Arts in 1977 and remains its Artistic Director, developing a unique “Binglish” cross-cultural theatre style, where Asian theatre sensibilities meet European drama.
In 1990, Jatinder became the first non-white director at the National Theatre, staging his own adaptation of MoliÃ¨re’s Tartuffe. This was followed by the first-ever staging at the National of the Sanskrit classic The Little Clay Cart. 2002 saw the completion of a five-year cycle of work for Tara, staging Journey to the West - a large-scale trilogy of plays tracing the story of Asian migration and settlement in the West over the 20th century.
Marked Tara’s 30th anniversary with a startling version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, conceiving Prospero as a fundamentalist bent on revenge who gains redemption. Returned to the National in 2009 to direct Hanif Kureishi’s The Black Album; in 2012 directed a new version by Hardeep Singh Kohli of Moliere’s The Miser followed, in 2013, with the premiere of a new play from the United States, Wajahat Ali’s The Domestic Crusaders. In 2015 directed a touring version of Macbeth, casting the Witches as Indian hijras (transsexuals & transgenders). Most recently Jaitnder directed The Game of Love and Chai by Nigel Planer.
Since 2010, has been leading on the renovation of Tara’s home in south London to create Britain’s first multicultural theatre, fusing Edwardian brick and Indian wood. The new award-winning theatre openned in September 2016. Jatinder holds Honorary Doctorates from the universities of Exeter, York and De Montfort, Leicester and is an Honorary Fellow of Rose Bruford College.
Claudia Mayer (Designer) trained with Percy Harris at Motley and has worked freelance in opera, ballet and theatre. Work for Tara Arts includes: Miranda, Marriage of Figaro, An Enemy of the People, The Merchant of Venice, Journey to the West (a trilogy), a Ramayana Odyssey, The Domestic Crusaders, Macbeth, Bollywood Jack, The Game of Love and Chai and two large- scale events in Trafalgar Square.
Rose-Marie Christian theatre credits include Tales from the Arabian Nights (London Bubble), Dick Whittington, Aladdin, Home Theatre (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Does My Bomb Look Big In This (Bush Theatre), Little Revolution (Almeida), Two Boys (English National Opera), Acting Up (Rich Mix), The Crucible (Talawa), Absolute Return (Orange Tree Theatre), Suffocation and Bussing It (Oval House). Her film credits include Still Life, Escape and Rinsers.
Medhavi Patel actor and writer Medhavi Patel has a passion for storytelling and inciting escapism and emotion from her audience, whatever age they are. She trained at The Brit School of Performing Arts and has just finished the much-acclaimed UK wide tour of We Are The Lions, Mr Manager with Townsend Productions. Theatre credits include: Food for Thought (Tara Arts), We Are The Lions, Mr Manager (Townsend Productions/UK Tour), Tales of Birbal (Mashi Theatre/UK Tour), Trident Moon (Finborough Theatre), Fragile Land (Hampstead Theatre) and Women of the Mahabarata (Tara Arts). Television credits include: Doctors (BBC), Holby City (BBC), Dogma 3: Only Girls (Channel 4) and Dogma 3: Snowman (Channel 4). She has played in multiple BBC Radio productions, including Together, Bombay Talky and Romeo and Juliet In Southwark. Her work in film includes the acclaimed British film Kidulthood (2006).
Raj Swamy is making his professional debut with Tara Arts since graduating from East 15 Acting School, where he studied BA World Performance. Raj has been involved in television productions such as Bad Education and Birds of a Feather and recently played the role of Kharak in feature film Red Joan alongside Judi Dench.