Indian Embrace – A heart-warming play of love and loss

Lucy and Ambika


Lucy Rasheed with Ambika Asthana in Indian Embrace

Cultural ties that bind two continents through love and loss are at the heart of a beautiful new play set to debut in Sydney this August. Presented by  Nautanki Theatre Group it is play by well known playwright Carol Dance.

Set in Varanasi, India, but with Sydney on its horizon, Indian Embrace is a powerful cross-cultural tale of the bonds that tie two very different families.
A tragedy from long ago bonds Vikram, an elderly Indian aristocrat, and John, an Australian expatriate. Their friendship is stronger than family ties. When Vikram’s daughter-in-law, Roopa, wants to immigrate to Australia and John’s Sydney family arrive for a reunion, tensions mount.

A clash of cultures stirs up painful memories and conjures new challenges, but ultimately the healing power of the River Ganges runs through the veins of them all, dissolving cultural differences.

Director Lenore Robertson first met Nautanki Theatre’s Neel Banerjee when she directed him in one scene of this play for the 2013 Sydney Short+Sweet Festival. Despite coming from different cultural backgrounds, they both fell in love with Carol’s engaging story.

Indian Embrace stars Ambika Asthana, Neel Banerjee, Shashidhar Dandekar, James Herrington, Steven Menteith (a Westerner who has travelled extensively in India including Varanasi) and Lucy Rasheed.

Playwright Carol Dance  received critical acclaim for her previous full-length play, Golden Soil (“Seriously good writing” ”“ Oz Babyboomers; “Compelling” –  Lenore Robertson is well known for her productions for Sydney’s Epicentre Theatre Company and more recently for the Australian Catholic University and Short+Sweet. She is supported by an accomplished production team including Pam Legge (costumes), Mary Bentley (props), Richard Neville (lighting design) and Mark Apolony (sound design).Neel Banerjee, Nautanki Theatre producer, has been actively involved in the Australian-Indian theatre scene since 2003. He enjoys showcasing the dynamic and evolving blended culture.


Director Lenore Robertson

Presented by Nautanki Theatre

Riverside Theatres August 21 to 25

Wed-Sat 8pm, Sun 3pm

Tickets $30 / $25 conc / $20 student

Bookings: 8839 3399  or online at

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