Asian theatre company Tara Arts – which celebrates its 30th anniversary next year - will start performances at its new London home, the New Players Theatre, tomorrow, with Ranjit Bolt’s translation of The Marriage of Figaro opening on 18 October 2006 (preview 17 October) for a limited season to 4 November 2006 prior to a national tour.

Previously a musical hall venue, the New Players Theatre in Charing Cross was renovated over the summer and will produce and co-produce new shows. It has also become the new London base for Tara Arts, which was founded in 1977 as a touring company. Artistic director Jatinder Verma said: “I’m delighted to be working with the New Players to get a London home for our touring productions. Its Off-Broadway intimacy exactly echoes the nature of a small scale touring company.”

Mark Clements, artistic director of the New Players, said: “It is an extremely exciting time for everyone involved with the New Players Theatre at the start of its new creative life and journey. I am delighted to be collaborating with Jatinder and all at Tara Arts in this new and positive collaboration that I believe is truly commensurate with the ethos and standard of work that our theatre now wishes to present.”

The Marriage of Figaro, Beaumarchais’ witty tale of love, betrayal and ultimately forgiveness, has been relocated to the dying years of the Mughal Empire in Ranjit Bolt’s new adaptation. Figaro, butler to a small-time Nawab (a count) returns to marry the girl of his dreams. However, before the wedding takes place, he learns of the Nawab’s plans to exercise his ancient right to receive the bride on the servant’s wedding night. With help from the spurned Begum, Figaro and his fiancé plot together to punish the Nawab for his intended infidelity.

Directed by Jatinder Verma and designed by Claudia Mayer, the cast includes Chris Nayak as Figaro, Dina Mousawi as Rukhsana/Suzanna, Sharona Sassoon as Begum and Chand Martinez as Qasim/Cherubino. Joining the cast is musician V Chandran, from Kerala. After its run at the New Players, The Marriage of Figaro will visit Bristol, Cumbria, Glasgow, Guildford, Darlington, Cardigan and Swansea.

- by Caroline Ansdell