After its UK premiere at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year, a play based on the brutal gangrape of a para-medical student in Delhi has opened in London.
‘Nirbhaya’, a dramatisation of the true events that took place on the night of December 16, 2012, has been created by internationally acclaimed playwright and director Yael Farber.
“India is where the play comes from. The revolution on the streets (following the student’s death) is exactly the spirit that the play captures. It is a protest against the conspiracy of silence,” says actress and producer Poorna Jagannathan, who had contacted Farber in the aftermath of the incident that triggered worldwide protests.
The play, which bagged the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award 2013 after its opening in Scotland, will have a short run at the Southbank Centre in London until March 12.
It will then travel to Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore over the coming months. Funds for the tour were crowdsourced through Kickstarter.com, and supplemented by grants from the British Council and Oxfam.
“With an extraordinary cast and creative team from India, Farber brings us a blistering evocation of that terrible night and the ripples of change it set in motion. Tearing away the shame that keeps the survivors silent ‘Nirbhaya’ is a voyage into a tapestry of personal testimonies that speaks for both a nation and a world no longer able to hold the tides of change at bay,” the Southbank Centre said in a statement.
The work follows five women as they share their stories of sexual violence, emboldened to break their silence after the attack on Nirbhaya –- the name given to the Delhi student who eventually succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital.
Canada-based Farber had travelled to India to create the production and conduct workshops, and is looking forward to
taking the play back home.
BJP leaders Prabhat Jha, Shahnawaz Hussain and Krishnapal Gujar also addressed a number of rallies.