How far would you go to resist oppression? What would you choose to remember, and what to forget?
It is 1932 in occupied Bengal. A young revolutionary prepares to storm a whites-only club in Chittagong, an act of defiance that will end in her taking her own life. The sign above the club reads No Dogs, No Indians. Decades later, an aspiring intellectual born in post-independence Kolkata is in love with all things British: Shakespeare, cricket, The Beatles. But as he contemplates the past and imagines his children’s future, he begins to question his own identity. Now in 2017, a man returns from London on the news of his father’s death. In the New India, he encounters steel magnates, supermodels and tech millionaires, but is haunted by ghosts from the past.
Three intertwining stories explore the effects and legacy of the British in India in a powerful new play by poet and playwright Siddhartha Bose to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence.
Playwright Siddhartha Bose on cultural appropriation, identity and colonialism
Writer | Siddhartha Bose
Director | Russell Bender
Costume designer | Mila Sanders
Lighting designer | Jai Morjaria
Sound designer | Edward Lewis
Fight direction | Yarit Dor
Company stage manager | Lauren Cameron
Rani | Komal Amin
Chorus/Durga/Kalpana | Archana Ramaswamy
Shyamal/Ananda/Nirmal | Omar Khan
Yogesh/Surya Sen/Biswas/Bahadur | Ashraf Ejjbair
Co-commissioned by Brighton Festival, Southbank Centre, Live Theatre, GemArts, Writers’ Centre Norwich & Norwich Arts Centre.
Supported with public funding by Arts Council England.
Produced by Penned in the Margins.
An important play that addresses real issues [...] There is a real subtlety in the writing, with no attempt to make this a flag-waving piece for any particular cause [...] The sparse set and excellent direction from Russell Bender perfectly convey the differing time periods and proves that lavish stages are an irrelevance in modern theatre. Archana Ramaswamy, Omar Khan and Ashraf Ejjbair handle multiple roles with ease, and Komal Amin is an inspirational figure as Rani - *****
Once Upon a Tyne
This beautiful work by poet Siddhartha Bose [...] The excellent acting makes this into an arresting and exciting show [...] the four actors deliver a performance that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Whether this show is your first introduction to Indian history, heritage and culture, or you’re already familiar with it, No Dogs, No Indians will surprise and satisfy you
Siddhartha Bose’s state of the nation epic [...] Performances shine in this dark play
Eastern Daily Express
Highly engaging [...] if you if you have the chance to catch this play, you should
Live Theatre Blog
An ambitious if sprawling examination of the deep scars of the British Empire, both personal and political [...] in a country used to a sanitised, flag-waving version of its history, where the British Empire is fetishised and its victims erased, the piece should be lauded for its ambition
Entertaining and enjoyable
British Theatre Guide
No Dogs, No Indians is without a doubt one of the most amazing performances out there, trumping most movies in dialogue, character and plot. I cannot recommend it enough
Ravenclaw Book Club
Bose is not a historian and does not pretend to be one, but the evening made for more interesting and innovative public history than that of efforts elsewhere [...] I can only hope that the kinds of history that Bose attempted to introduce to a public audience in Edinburgh marks the beginning of greater awareness of social, cultural and emotional histories in Britain of the Imperial past and its continued present.
Plenty of ambition in this sweeping history of modern India – definitely a Brighton Festival highlight for me
One of the best plays I've seen in a long time! No Dogs, No Indians packs some punches, amazing stories, exquisite writing, incredible actors
Fabulous performance at Live Theatre. Still thinking about it!
Effervescent performances and an absorbing story
Thank you to all for telling a complex story so honestly and sensitively. Congratulations!
Well acted and powerful
Touching and fascinating and beautifully acted