Tara Theatre has announced Bangladesh 50 - a season of work celebrating half a century of independence. 

The season combines oral history, virtual reality and immersive performance in two world premiere productions and 7 new pieces of work that explore unheard voices and celebrate the intertwined histories of British Bangladeshi communities. 

The season opens with the World Premiere of DAWAAT, a pop-up birthday feast across London for the eyes, ears and the taste buds, that will ask what it means to be of Bangladeshi heritage in the UK today. 

Working closely with Bangladeshi communities in London, Artistic Director Abdul Shayek has created an extraordinary piece of devised intergenerational theatre that explores contrasting narratives and looks at what the 50th anniversary means to the diaspora and its political, human and emotional impact.

‘Dawaat’ will be driven by the sharing of food, poetry, live music, spoken word and movement. Audiences will have the option to sit at the communal dining table on stage or within the auditorium. 

In Spring 2021 Tara Theatre will present AMMA, in which Bangladeshi women’s experiences will take centre stage.

The extensively researched and thought-provoking production allows audiences to experience first hand what it was like to experience the war and in turn leave for the UK in the 1970s and 80s to build a new life in a new place.

Developed from artist-led workshops with local Bangladeshi women in Birmingham, Walsall, Manchester and London,  Tara Theatre has collected testimonies that show what it was like to live through the War of Independence of Bangladesh.

Kamal Kaan will script this oral history into a powerful virtual reality performance preserving the voices that led to independence for future generations.

Asian Image:

The company has also launched a major new international collaboration - ARTISTS MAKE SPACE - pairing seven Bangladesh based artists with seven UK based artists to co-create new exploratory works to be showcased in Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, and London.

Working with Britto Arts Trust and commissioned by the British Council, Tara Theatre will present the final work from the collaboration in Bangladesh and the UK as well as online. An open call for ARTISTS MAKE SPACE will begin this November.

Abdul Shayek, Artistic Director of Tara Theatre has said:  “Until fairly recently I knew very little about the birth of Bangladesh, these projects are a culmination of my discoveries and education of the land of my birth. There is an urgency and need to tell and preserve these stories as we are losing the people who helped to create Bangladesh. 

"At the very moment of celebrating its creation, Bangladesh is a nation under threat. In the next 30 years it is projected that Bangladesh will lose up to 11% of its land, displacing millions.

"These projects are not only a celebration of 50 years, but also a stark reminder that our actions now will determine whether we are able preserve Bangladesh’s rich cultural history, and the very land on which it was created, a place which is strongly linked to Britain’s past, present and future."

10 - 16 December
Running time: 50 minutes 
10 December, 5pm and 7.30pm
Devonshire Square, Liverpool Street
Tickets £20 and £17.50 concessions
13 December, 5pm and 7.30pm
Queen’s Market, Upton Park 
Tickets £20 and £17.50 concessions
14-16 December, 7.30pm
Tara Theatre, 365 Garratt Lane, London SW18 4ES
£9.50 - £20

To find out more click here