Directed by Kristine Landon-Smith, it tells the story of a widow obsessed with upholding her family’s reputation while her five daughters dream only of finding love.Writer Sudha Bhuchar has relocated Federico García Lorca’s 1939 drama The House of Bernarda Alba from rural Spain to present-day Pakistan – specifically the Punjabi town of Jhang, a town steeped in the romance and tragedy of the Heer Ranjha legend.
Ila Arun will play the domineering matriarch Bilquis, leading an all-female cast of nine. A popular singer and actress in India, Ila recently starred alongside Aishwarya Rai in Bollywood epic Jodhaa Akbar and will soon appear in West is West, BBC Films’ sequel to East is East.
Indira Joshi (The Kumars at No. 42, Grumpy Old Women) will play Bilquis’ senile mother Mehroonisa, Rina Fatania returns as servant Bushra, and youngest daughter Aroosa will be played by Youkti Patel, seen last year in the lead role of Shakuntala in Tamasha’s musical Wuthering Heights which was at the Coliseum in March 2009. Ghizala Avan, Mariam Haque, Shalini Peiris, Vineeta Rishi and Balvinder Sopal complete the cast.
The House of Bilquis Bibi runs at the Oldham Coliseum from 28 September - 2 October.