The Djinns of Eidgah

by Abhishek Majumdar

The Djinns of Eidgah Top / Details
Ashrafi and Bilal are orphaned siblings stranded and defined by the troubles in Kashmir. 18 year old Bilal is the pride of the region, part of a teenage football team set for great heights, and pushed to the limits by the violence around them. Haunted by hope, his sister is caught in the past, and Bilal is torn between escaping the myths of war and the cycles of resistance. Interweaving true stories and testimonies with Islamic storytelling, the play paints a magical portrait of a generation of radicalised kids, and a beautiful landscape lost to conflict. “One of the best plays of recent times” The Mumbai Theatre Guide Djinn n. pl. jinn also djinn In Muslim legend, a spirit often capable of assuming human or animal form and exercising supernatural influence over people. The most militarized place on this planet , the Kashmir Valley has 800,000 Indian Soldiers , which is more than the number of American Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan put together. It is perhaps the only place which is part of the budgets of 3 countries: India, China and Pakistan and still continues to be extremely underdeveloped. During the partition of India , the fate of Kashmir was undecided and the white paper on the plebiscite of Kashmir was issued in 1948 ( and later ratified by the UN) that stated that the fate of Kashmir will be decided by the people of Kashmir through an election and they will decide if Kashmir will be part of India, Pakistan or Independent. This Plebiscite is still pending. Abhishek Majumdar The Royal Court has worked with emerging playwrights in India for over ten years. Abhishek Majumdar's The Djinns of Eidgah was developed as part of a project in collaboration with Rage Productions Mumbai and the British Council in 2010, which challenged 12 writers from all over India to write a play asking urgent questions about their changing country. The final plays were all performed in their original language as part of the Writers Bloc Festival at the Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai in January 2012 and a selection, including The Djinns of Eidgah, were then chosen to be performed as readings at the Royal Court in November 2012. Abhishek Majumdar is an Indian playwright and director who grew up in Delhi and now lives in Bangalore. He writes in English, Hindustani (Hindi/Urdu) and Bangla. He is the artistic director of the Indian Ensemble and a winner of the Metro Plus Playwriting award for his play Harlesden High Street which was produced by Tara earlier this year. His other work includes Rizwaan (Urdu/ English), Lucknow ‘76, An Arrangement of Shoes and Afterlife of Birds. His latest play as a director, Gasha (Hindi/ Urdu/ Kashmiri) won the best play award at the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards, New Delhi. He studied theatre at LISPA (London International School of Performance Arts) and attended the Royal Court International Residency in 2011 to continue his work on The Djinns Of Eidgah which was produced at the Writers Bloc Festival and in other parts of India in 2012. Richard Twyman directs. International Associate at the Royal Court, he recently directed PIIGS for Open Court. Richard directed The Djinns of Eidgah for Rage Theatre in Mumbai as part of the Writers Bloc Festival. He has worked extensively at the RSC, including on The Histories Cycle which won Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Ensemble & Best Revival and the Evening Standard Editor's Choice Award, and for which he directed Henry IV Pt II. His other credits include Ditch at the Old Vic Tunnels/HighTide, Dr Marigold & Mr Chops at Bath Theatre Royal, Sixty-Six Books at the Bush Theatre and Give Me Your Hand (nominated for the Drama Desk Award 2012 for Outstanding Theatrical Experience), at the Irish Rep, New York. Running time: 2 hours and 20 minutes including interval The Djinns of Eidgah is presented as part of International Playwrights: A Genesis Foundation Project, with additional support from the British Council. Photo Credit Aman Farooq

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