Whose Sari Now? — Press Release

Press Release

Whose Sari Now?
Written and performed by Rani Moorthy
Directed by Kimberley Sykes

Header Image

The Lowry
Thursday 19th November 2015
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ

Release Date: Immediate

Six yards of cloth, wound round tight
Or draped seductively
Or practically, for breastfeeding
Or pulled between thighs to walk like a man
Or wildly thrown together, with Doc Martin boots
A modest proposal or a political act or a defiant one


Debunking the myth behind the sari.
Beyond the Bollywood wet sari.

A Strip of Cloth

The word Sari comes from the Sanskrit meaning “strip of cloth”
That “strip of cloth”, whether draped on ancient statues of Goddesses or on contemporary icons like Madonna and Samantha Cameron, affords the woman both great allure and power all at once. The vulnerability comes from the lack of structure, the nature of the drape comes from what the woman is doing, her social status, her caste, the one size fits all, the transitory nature of the garment and in the bare midriff.
The power of a sari is in its mutability; its sheer ability to incorporate all that is woman. It celebrates every shape of woman; with no need to bind, hide or depending on the drape contain any part of the anatomy. The folds of the sari can be hitched up or drawn between the legs when there was hard, physical work.

The Sari tells the Tale

The play, by turns funny and poignant, examines the role of the sari in the lives of the characters.
Rani Moorthy will play all the characters in the play; from an old Asian woman whose saris are like her second skin, a young mother giving birth in a war zone wrapping her twin babies in her wedding sari, a Malaysian historian connects the sari with mythology, a transgender reflects on his girlfriend’s sari obsession, a low caste weaver drapes the sari on a member of the audience who she is conditioned to believe is more worthy and a character who contemplates her relationship with the sari in her final hours.
Whose Sari Now? will have a rich and eclectic visual style that will be bold and powerful, creating mood, context and by turns augmenting and challenging the action. The specially created music is drawn from a variety of influences including classical Indian Carnatic music, pop, hip-hop, Tamil rap, Malay instrumentation, western classical and contemporary music.

Community Engagement tie-in

The audience for each performance will be encouraged to bring their own sari or wear one in a post event called “Sari Sari Night”.

The Sari Trilogy

Whose Sari Now? will be the first in a trilogy of work inspired by the sari. The second will be sited in a real sari shop and explores the intimate salon-like relationship between a male sari seller and his female clients. The third will be Handloom set in a weaving community threatened with closure.

Rasa is a Manchester based theatre company, renowned for its high quality, critically acclaimed work that aims to artistically celebrate the migrant experience. Rasa has toured extensively in the UK and taken work to Malaysia, Sri Lanka, USA, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mauritius and Singapore.

UK Tour Details Autumn 2015

Full UK touring details and educational workshops are available, please contact the venues listed below, or visit Rasa website at www.rasatheatre.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RasaProductionsUK
Twitter: @Ranirasatheare

King’s College
Arts and Humanities Festival 2015
Friday 16th October, 7.30.pm Scratch performance and panel discussion

Leicester World Premier
The Curve Theatre, Leicester
Thursday 12th – Sat 14th November, 7.45 pm (after show talk) , matinee 2p.m

The Lowry, Salford
Thursday 19th November 2015

Rich Mix, London
Friday 20th November 2015 (after show talk)

Shamaila Khan (North West Press/Marketing)
E: shamaila.khan@rasatheatre.co.uk M: 07779 010767
Suman Bhuchar (South/South East Press/Marketing)
sumanbhuchar@gmail.com M: 07930 101894

Fareda Khan (Rasa Producer)
E: fareda.khan@rasatheatre.co.uk M: 07794 619717

Rani Moorthy Writer
Rani has written for BBC 1 Doctors, BBC Radio 4 dramas and several short films, including Incense, funded by the Film Council, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival and televised on ITV. Her play Curry Tales was nominated for a MEN best Fringe production, had two national tours, toured internationally to 4 continents and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and Too Close to Home was nominated as MEN best New Play award. States of Verbal Undress was a finalist in the live event category of Asian Media Awards. Her play Handful of Henna was translated into Italian and she has been commissioned to write a short play for the Milan Expo 2015.This is Rani’s eleventh play for Rasa.

Kimberley Sykes Director
Kimberley trained at Rose Bruford College and National Theatre Studio directors course.
Directing Credits include: In the Solitude of Cotton (Tristan Bates Theatre), How I skinned my Sister (Tamasha, Rich Mix) Pieces (New Diorama), SATB (Soho Theatre)

Assistant/Associate Director Credits include: City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), East is East (Trafalgar Studios),The Amne Corner (National Theatre), The Dybbuk (Pascal theatre Company, New York).

Rani Moorthy
Theatre includes: East is East (Trafalgar Studios), Rafta Rafta (Bolton Octagon, New Vic), Curry Tales (Traverse, Lyric Hammersmith, national and international tours), Too Close to Home (Library Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith),Romeo and Juliet (Birmingham Rep)

Television: Prey (ITV 1), Mrs Bilal in the BBC sitcom Citizen Khan. Prisoners Wives, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Moving On and Cold Feet.
Film: All in Good time and Twenty8K.

Creative Support

Ana Inés Jabares-Pita Scenographer
Renu Arora, Vocals and Vocal Composition
Santhors. J Pulenthiran Music Composition (Vocals and Rap composition)
Kajal Nisha Patel Press image (photography)
Shenaz Gulzar Video projection

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