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Class & passion clash as The Young Ones’ Nigel Planer adapts classic French farce

20 January 2018

Tara Arts presents:

The Game of Love and Chai

Class and passion clash when Rani meets Raj as The Young Ones’ Nigel Planer transports classic French farce to 21st century London

Adapted by Nigel Planer | From The Game of Love and Chance by Marivaux

Directed by Jatinder Verma

WORLD PREMIERE

PRESS NIGHT: Monday 5th March, Tara Theatre

Actor, comedian, novelist and playwright Nigel Planer (The Young Ones, Filthy Rich & Catflap) is to team up with Tara Arts’ artistic director Jatinder Verma in a brand-new adaptation of Marivaux’s classic French farce. Transporting the story of a betrothal in 1730s France to twenty-first century England, The Game of Love and Chai centers around a marriage between two modern day Asian families combining familiar French farce with contemporary comedy and Bollywood song and dance.

Kamala wants her daughter Rani to marry successful but emotionally awkward businessman Raj. Rani bristles at going down the conventional route and arranges a test for Raj. She convinces her cousin Sita to swap places and pretend to be the suitable bride – unaware that Raj has come up with the same scheme with his driver, Nitin!

Nigel Planer said “I’ve been hooked on Indian cinema since 1983.  I love its range, its daring and its ridiculous sense of fun.  So when I came across Marivaux’s play - a mistaken identity comedy about the foolish things we do when we fall in love - the connection seemed obvious. With Marivaux, as with so-called ‘Bollywood’, the main thing is to completely abandon oneself and let foolishness and love take over.”

Jatinder Verma said “Nigel Planer’s version of Marivaux’s classic farce brings to the fore my abiding interest in connecting the worlds of East and West - connections that have enriched the theatrical cultures of both halves of the planet. Nigel’s new play brilliantly re-imagines Marivaux for today’s multicultural audiences, bringing a touch of India to this comic clash of passion and class.”

Nigel Planer is best known for his role as Neil in the BBC comedy The Young Ones. He is a founding member of The London Comedy Store and the Comic Strip group, and has written comedy books, novels, plays and scripts. He has worked extensively in theatre, film and television as an actor with stage credits including original London casts of Evita, We Will Rock You, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Chicago, which returns to London this year.

Director and artistic director of Tara Theatre Jatinder Verma was awarded an MBE for services to diversity in the arts in 2017. Jatinder is one of the co-founders of Tara, and was the first Asian or Black to direct at the National Theatre, with his own adaptation of Moliere's Tartuffe. His previous productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Black Album at the National Theatre and Macbeth, the first tour for Black Theatre Live.

Marivaux, along with Goldsmith and Sheridan, was one of the first Western playwrights to be produced in India in the late-18th century. This new production forms part of Tara Arts Binglish project, exploring the theatrical connections between India and the West, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Re-opened in September 2016 by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Tara Theatre has garnered a range of awards, including The Stage Sustainability Award, London Construction Best Project Design Award & the London Architecture Culture & Community Award. It has also been shortlisted for the World Architecture & the Peter Brook Empty Space Awards last year. Tara Arts was founded in 1977 by Artistic Director Jatinder Verma, along with Sunil Saggar, Ovais Kadri, Praveen Bahl and Vijay Shaunak.

@Tara_Arts | #LoveandChai | www.tara-arts.com

Running Time: 2hrs including interval | Suitable for ages 12+

Company Information: Tara Arts

Directed by Jatinder Verma                

Adapted by Nigel Planer         

Designed by Claudia Meyer

Cast: Ronny Jhutti, Kiren Jogi, Devan Modha, Goldy Notay, Adam Samuel-Bal and Sharon Singh  

UK tour 1st March – 5th May