Northampton to co-produce A Passage to India

Steve Orme

Northampton’s Royal and Derngate and simple8 theatre company are to co-produce E M Forster’s A Passage to India in Northampton before taking it on a UK tour.

The story is set in British India where cultures are splitting under imperial pressure. Aziz ignores the harsh but clear advice that “one cannot be friends with the English” and lies in gaol on a charge of sexual assault. Forster poses the question: how can we love one another in a world divided by culture and belief?

A Passage to India is re-imagined for contemporary Britain in a new adaptation by Simon Normandy who co-directs with simple8’s artistic director Sebastian Armesto.

The ensemble includes Richard Goulding, who on television played Prince Harry in both The Windsors and Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III and Asif Khan who appeared on the UK tour of Fiona Buffini’s Handbagged in 2015.

The rest of the cast comprises Liz Crowther (Mrs Moore / Ralph), Matthew Douglas (Callendar), Christopher Doyle (McBryde), Hannah Emanuel (Mrs Callendar / Stella), Tibu Fortes (Hamidullah), Nigel Hastings (Turton), Edward Killingback (Ronny), Ranjit Krishnamma (Godbole / Das), Phoebe Pryce (Adela) and Maanuv Thiara (Mahmoud Ali).

Original music will be played live on stage by composer Kuljit Bhamra and Asha McCarthy. Designer is Dora Schweitzer and lighting designer Prema Mehta.

A Passage to India runs on the Royal stage from Thursday 11 until Saturday 20 January. It then tours to Salisbury Playhouse, Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Playhouse and Churchill Theatre, Bromley until Saturday 17 February.