Talkback Readings

Kali Theatre presents

Talkback Readings

  • Mon 21 - Sat 26 Nov
  • £6

Kali actively seeks out and nurtures exciting new South Asian women playwrights who are pushing the boundaries and exploring issues for today. Now an annual event, Talkback presents a week of rich and diverse readings of plays by some of the freshest and most original voices in new theatre writing.

Further information at

Mon 21 November 8pm
Awakening by Sharon Raizada
Directed by Janet Steel
How English are you? As the English Defence League march against Muslims in Luton, Sonia Bhatti is filming in their pub HQ. Boyfriend Glenn is trying to stop her. EDL leader Stuart enjoys the attention but Lieutenant Dalpreet suspects the Sikh girl amongst them, who hides her black boyfriend. When Stuart’s brother Paul arrives on a burning mission for Christ, a potent mixture of rage, race and religion threatens to explode.

Tue 22 November 8pm
Reputation by Yasmeen Khan
Directed by Elizabeth Freestone.
Can you turn a religion into a brand? When her glittering PR career comes to a crashing halt, Tahira must take on the one job she doesn’t want: launching a new British Muslim organisation. In trying to ‘reposition’ Islam, Tahira must face her past and question her own ‘brand’. In this satirical look at the world of PR, everyone finds themselves battling for their reputation.

Thur 24 November 8pm (Double Bill)
Border Lies by Sumerah Srivastava
Directed by Elizabeth Freestone.
Can duty and desire ever really co-exist without a few lies? One Kitchen. Two nights. Three years apart. Determined to make his parents proud, well meaning Aman works tirelessly to keep the family restaurant going amid staff shortages, political divides and cultural clashes. As the orders pile up, Aman’s darkest secret bursts into the heat of the kitchen with disastrous consequences.

Return by Dina Mousawi
Directed by Poonam Brah
3fates share their experiments in creating a fresh and irreverent take on verbatim theatre, rich with personal accounts and conflicting points of view. Inspired by civilian journalism in the Arab Spring they present the experiences of young Iraqi women living under occupation and explore how and why it matters to us. This is contrasted with the journey of British-Iraqi, Dina Mousawi returning to Iraq to find these women.

Fri 25 November 8pm
Polarised by Arvind Thandi
Directed by Poonam Brah
When you’re fighting for your future, who can you put your faith in? From the suffocation of her home suburb to the throbbing environs of queer Soho, Kiran struggles with exes and soon-to-be-exes. Should she follow her old boyfriend and his fixation with fading indie bands? Or her girlfriend’s obsession with the Indian economic miracle? And how to respond to her boss’s ruthless attempt to maintain her diminishing power?

Sat 26 November 3pm (Triple Bill)
Unforgiven by Rafika Razaque Furey
Directed by Poonam Brah
Can one event change your life forever? Alal is a functional alcoholic with a divorce and a child in tow, trying to make sense of his life. His internal conflicts are amplified by his weed smoking cousin Bodrul. When a tragic event occurs that turns Alal’s world upside down, he must try and make a place for himself in a world where he is too scared to take simple steps for his future.

Awaking Durga By Anu Kumar
Directed by Kitty Winter
What would you do to protect your children? When the security of a diplomat’s family is threatened, his wife searches deep in herself to find a power that will protect her children. Mentored by acclaimed performance artist, Bobby Baker, Anu Kumar draws on her writer and dance backgrounds to explore the many roles of womanhood in a work that creates text to inspire movement.

Four Glaswegians and a Coffin by Narinder Dosanjh
Directed by Janet Steel
What can death tell us about life? Full of the cross-cultural complexities encountered by an Indian family living in Glasgow, this richly comic tale of the Shadava family and the responsibilities thrust upon them in the aftermath of their father’s death, reveals the heartache and lies, and a hauntingly beautiful truth that exist within this family.