Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi

Image Credit: Jerome Hunt

 Kali Theatre and Pursued By A Bear Productions
Mercury Theatre, Colchester  
Image Credit: Jerome Hunt 

Fri, 2012-11-09
Games, politics and personal and national identity are inseparably intertwined in Satinder Chohan’s new play Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi. The play, co-produced by Kali Theatre and Pursued By A Bear Productions, examines two time periods, two countries and six characters through the conceit of the popular Indian sport Kabaddi.
 
The first half of action is set in London 2012, where the basic set of a construction of scaffolding serves as the playing-field for Shera’s dominating presence as he harbours illegal immigrants Eshwar and Azadeh. They are all connected through a history of Kabaddi playing; Shera’s great ambition is to win Olympic gold as his ancestors did, Eshwar, reluctant to join Shera in Club UK taps into his muscle memory, trying once more to ‘breathe Kabaddi deep’ and Azadeh struggles with both her flair for the sport and flinching fear of male violence.
 
Chohan captures cleverly the ironies and complexities of British Asian identity with wit and depth. In a scene where the trio have broken into the Olympic Stadium past the lax security post-Games, Shera soaks up imaginary roars of the crowd. With great dignity and pride, he steps up onto the victory podium (a bag of chapatti-flour) and receives his gold medal and garland of flowers (a pot of coriander), singing the British national anthem in his Desi-london accent. Shera relishes the power of his status as British, derogatively admonishing the ‘freshies’, fresh off the boat, taking advantage of their dependence on his opportunities luring them into battles of will and Kabaddi.
 
The second act travels back through the generations to Punjab, India in 1936. With an angular shift of the scaffolding construction and its decking in coloured cotton bunting, the set becomes a shanty deck in Punjab glowing in an orange wash of light. Here Pavan and Fauji practice their sport in the Akhara hoping to be picked for the team going to demonstrate Kabaddi at the Berlin Olympics.
Azadeh returns from her political imprisonment but prepares once more to fight for her freedom, and it is to utter shame that she discovers Fauji wearing shorts made in Manchester and joining the British ranks.
 
Helena Bell’s direction excels in its simplicity and showcases the actors’ abilities through their focused interpersonal relations. Shalini Peiris gives two strong and defined portrayals as Azadeh across the generations. She begins as a ruffled-haired, bare-footed immigrant girl and transforms into a confident, shining-eyed independent woman. Asif Khan, expertly playing Eshwar and Fauji, is solemnly understated in his battle through hardship and turmoil. Pushpinder Chani revels in thrusting his hand through his Bollywood-locks as both Shera and Pavan, and his boundless energy and overt confidence could be reined in to give a more nuanced performance.
 
The production doesn’t quite deliver what the writing promises; if one closes one’s eyes and listens to the low rumblings of the characters’ breath, ‘Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi’, the well-designed music by Arun Ghosh, the stamping of feet, and slapping of bodies, then the images of the red dust rising in the Akhara that the mind conjures are much more rich than those painted by the bodies on stage. There is a battle between the naturalistic and the symbolic and although Jasmine Simhalan’s choreography captures the rough and tumble of tactics, a stronger commitment to the realistic or symbolic would result in a more firmly rooted depiction of the beautiful and brutal sport.
 
This year, South Asian contribution to the arts in Britain has been celebrated on a global scale in relation to the Olympics and Cultural Olympiad. Chohan continues this work with her deft dramatisation of the connections between Olympic sport and British and Indian socio-political histories infused with personal plights. Topically relevant, it tackles issues of present-day Asian diasporic experience as well as finding a deep connection to the past through spiritual and ancestral roots. As part of Kali Theatre’s 21st birthday celebrations
this production will run for a week in London at the Arcola Theatre. I urge viewers to support this important and groundbreaking work to ensure that such beautifully told stories reach a wider public domain and excite the British consciousness.
 
Sita Thomas 

Comments

coach outlet coach outlet air

coach outlet

coach outlet

air max 90

christian louboutin shoes

indianapolis colts jerseys

ralph lauren outlet

coach outlet online

prada shoes

michael kors handbags

cowboys jerseys

nhl jerseys

jacksonville jaguars jersey

los angeles lakers

louboutin shoes

ferragamo shoes

nike blazer

tennessee titans jersey

coach bags

polo ralph lauren

detroit lions jerseys

miami heat

michael kors uk

ralph lauren outlet

jimmy choo shoes

nike trainers

true religion jeans

coach outlet online

cheap ray bans

rolex replica

coach factory outlet

ed hardy

omega watches sale

mont blanc pens

christian louboutin outlet

polo ralph lauren

green bay packers jerseys

oakley sunglasses

nike outlet

michael kors uk

rolex watches

polo ralph lauren outlet

miami dolphins jerseys

ray ban sunglasses outlet

washington redskins jerseys

valentino shoes

nike shoes

nike air max 90

hermes belt

ray ban sunglasses

replica watches

ray ban sunglasses

oakley sunglasses

colts jerseys

coach outlet store online

coach outlet

coach factory outlet

clippers jersey for sale

raiders jerseys

jordan shoes

texans jerseys

oakley sunglasses

gucci outlet

michael kors outlet

kate spade outlet

michael kors handbags

nike factory store

oakley sunglasses wholesale

cheap ray bans

true religion jeans

nike outlet

pittsburgh steelers jersey

ralph lauren outlet

oklahoma city thunder jerseys

christian louboutin shoes

carolina jerseys

new york giants jerseys

jordan shoes

polo ralph lauren

cheap nhl jerseys

ralph lauren uk

oakley sunglasses wholesale

reebok shoes

coach outlet online

yeezy boost 350 v2

michael kors handbags

nike huarache

michael kors

coach outlet

soccer shoes

patriots jerseys

ray ban sunglasses

nike huarache

49ers jersey

san diego chargers jerseys

ray ban sunglasses

michael kors handbags

rolex replica watches

coach factory outlet

cheap oakley sunglasses

oakley sunglasses

salomon boots

basketball shoes

cheap ray bans

new orleans saints jerseys

bengals jersey

true religion outlet

air jordan uk

cleveland cavaliers jerseys

baltimore ravens jerseys

christian louboutin outlet

nike trainers

nike outlet

nfl jerseys wholesale

ralph lauren uk

ray ban sunglasses outlet

cheap basketball shoes

ralph lauren outlet

michael kors uk

air huarache

coach factory outlet

asics shoes

michael kors handbags

canada goose

coach outlet

nike tn

michael kors outlet

nike store

ray ban sunglasses outlet

cheap jordan shoes

los angeles lakers jerseys

nike outlet

packers jerseys

cleveland cavaliers

cheap ray bans

ecco shoes

nike soccer shoes

coach outlet

coach outlet

carolina panthers jersey

lions jerseys

michael kors handbags

ralph lauren outlet

golden state warriors

mont blanc pens

true religion outlet

coach outlet

hermes belts

nike shoes

bears jerseys

coach outlet online

oakley sunglasses wholesale

pandora jewelry

broncos jerseys

ralph lauren outlet

kate spade sale

ed hardy clothing

jordan shoes

nike shoes

coach outlet

new balance shoes

coach outlet online

burberry outlet

michael kors outlet

ed hardy uk

abercrombie and fitch kids

cheap snapbacks

cheap oakley sunglasses

polo ralph lauren

boston celtics jersey

abercrombie and fitch

mont blanc outlet

polo outlet

clippers jersey

ray ban sunglasses outlet

pandora jewelry

coach outlet online

michael kors uk

coach outlet store online

replica watches

titans jersey

discount oakley sunglasses

jordan shoes

birkenstock sandals

san francisco 49ers jerseys

christian louboutin outlet

kate spade outlet

adidas yeezy

christian louboutin uk

instyler max 2

kansas city chiefs jerseys

ferragamo outlet

skechers shoes

cheap jordans

nike outlet store

michael kors outlet

michael kors outlet

coach factory outlet

ralph lauren outlet

replica rolex

cheap nfl jerseys

hugo boss outlet

oakley sunglasses wholesale

jimmy choo outlet

ravens jerseys

gucci shoes

cheap mlb jerseys

oakley sunglasses

fitflops sale

coach outlet

san antonio spurs jerseys

browns jerseys

coach factory outlet

ralph lauren outlet

birkenstock outlet

cheap jordan shoes

ecco sandals

longchamp outlet

ralph lauren outlet

coach factory outlet

tods shoes

oakley sunglasses

mlb jerseys

ed hardy outlet

true religion outlet

kate spade outlet

skechers outlet

polo ralph lauren

bills jerseys

nike roshe run

air jordan 8

christian louboutin shoes

dolce and gabbana outlet

ray ban sunglasses

saics running shoes

new york knicks jersey

ralph lauren outlet

asics outlet

armani exchange

kate spade handbags

nike factory outlet

dolphins jerseys

kate spade handbags

yeezy boost 350

replica watches

oakley sunglasses

polo ralph lauren

longchamp handbags

kate spade outlet

redskins jerseys

ralph lauren outlet

bruberry sale

kate spade sale

ray ban sunglasses

christian louboutin outlet

prada outlet

michael kors outlet

chiefs jersey

christian louboutin sale

seattle seahawks jerseys

reebok outlet

michael kors handbags sale

gucci borse

cleveland browns jerseys

true religion outlet

nike trainers

ray ban sunglasses

polo ralph lauren

coach handbags

oakley sunglasses wholesale

coach outlet

golden state warriors jerseys

mont blanc outlet

minnesota vikings jerseys

seahawks jersey

michael kors handbags

polo ralph lauren

hugo boss sale

coach outlet

new york knicks

kate spade handbags

replica rolex

fitflops sale clearance

converse shoes

nike shoes

jordan 8

mbt shoes outlet

arizona cardinals jerseys

nike air huarache

cincinnati bengals jerseys

nike air huarache

michael kors handbags

coach handbags

michael kors handbags

nike blazer pas cher

nike tn pas cher

pandora outlet

chicago bulls jersey

christian louboutin shoes

pandora outlet

michael kors outlet online

nike factory outlet

nike roshe

air max 2015

dolce and gabbana shoes

steelers jerseys

coach outlet online

san antonio spurs

falcons jersey

ray ban sunglasses

tods outlet

pandora jewelry

cheap jordan shoes

christian louboutin outlet

armani outlet

chicago bulls

nba jerseys

coach outlet

polo ralph lauren outlet

mbt shoes

coach outlet store

houston texans jerseys

ray ban sunglasses outlet

canada goose

coach outlet online

ray ban sunglasses

fitflops sale

canada goose sale

yeezy shoes

new york jets jerseys

cheap oakley sunglasses

cheap oakley sunglasses

pandora outlet

jaguars jersey

coach outlet online

buffalo bills jerseys

valentino outlet

polo ralph lauren

miami heat jersey

chargers jerseys

christian louboutin shoes

nike huarache

cheap ray ban sunglasses

true religion outlet store

new england patriots jerseys

cheap nike shoes

nike outlet

atlanta falcons jerseys

fitflops

pandora charms

coach outlet store online

eagles jerseys

nike air max

ecco shoes

gucci sito ufficiale

ecco shoes uk

rolex replica

converse trainers

coach outlet

boston celtics

jets jersey

cheap nba jerseys

kate spade sale

cardinals jersey

saints jerseys

fitflops sale clearance

dallas cowboys jerseys

cheap ray bans

fitflops shoes

cheap jordans

philadelphia eagles jerseys

asics shoes

coach outlet store online

instyler max

oklahoma city thunder

nike huarache

canada goose outlet

cheap ray bans

air jordan 4

christian louboutin shoes

coach outlet online

salomon shoes

oakley sunglasses

fitflops sale clearance

true religion outlet store

nike trainers shoes

nike outlet

giants jersey

chicago bears jerseys

moncler outlet

michael kors canada

jordan 4

vikings jerseys

jordan shoes

new balance outlet

michael kors handbags

nike air huarache

polo ralph lauren

pandora outlet

coach outlet

cheap ray ban sunglasses

nike air jordan

nike outlet store

omega watches

ralph lauren polo

moncler jackets

oakland raiders jerseys

polo ralph lauren

snapbacks wholesale

denver broncos jerseys

fitflops sale clearance

nike shoes