Shared Experience are renowned for their innovative theatre work, in particular their style of embracing new writing (often using devised scripts) and new literary adaptations and then combining these with physical theatre. The collaboration between actors, directors, designers and writers has produced a variety of adaptations including The Magic Toyshop, Anna Karenina, Mill on the Floss and Jane Eyre.
EM Forster's novel tells the story of Adele Quested who wants to discover the 'real India' for herself before she marries in England. She agrees to see the Marabar Caves with the charming Dr Aziz, unaware of what the trip will bring. Set at the height of British control in India, the play explores the collision of two very different cultures.
Martin Sherman has already had several successes in the West End and on Broadway. His first play, Bent, premiered at the Royal Court and then transferred to the Criterion Theatre with Ian McKellen and Tom Bell in the leads. It then transferred to Broadway with Richard Gere, receiving a Tony nomination for Best Play and went on to be made into a film.
A Passage to India is directed by Nancy Meckler, joint artistic director of Shared Experience. She has worked at the Hampstead Theatre and the Leicester Haymarket as associate director, and directed Sherman's most recent play, Rose, which starred Olympia Dukakis at the National and was nominated for a Tony award after its successful run on Broadway.
The new production is designed by Niki Turner, with lighting by Chris Davey, movement by Liz Ranken and music by Peter Salem. Following Richmond, the tour visits Bath, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Warwick and Guildford.
- by Sarah Beaumont