Jatinga – drama inspired by daughters of sex-workers in Mumbai’s red-light district

Trishala Sharma in Jatinga

Pic credit: Mansoor Noor Photography

“If you can imagine a better world, you can imagine a place for yourself in it.”

Following the critically acclaimed, sell-out season of The Laden Table (March 2017), bAKEHOUSE Theatre Company is proud to present the world premiere of Jatinga – an international co-production inspired by the daughters of sex-workers in Kamathipura, Mumbai’s oldest and Asia’s second largest red-light district.

Named after the village Jatinga, a place most famous for the phenomenon of birds  ”˜committing  suicide’ by mysteriously flying off a cliff and plunging to their deaths, Jatinga is the story of five girls desperately trying to change the course of their lives.

From the slums of Mumbai, to the tribal regions of India’s north and to the Red Corridor in the east, the play joins the girls as they find themselves on a train to Jatinga. When a chance encounter with an investigative journalist offers them a glimmer of hope, they must remember that there are predators lurking around every corner.

The inspiration for Jatinga sparked in 2014 when bAKEHOUSE Theatre Company’s artistic director Suzanne Millar spent three months in Kamathipura to establish an arts program in partnership with the Apne Aap Women’s Collective (AAWC). An award-winning NGO, the AAWC works with the daughters of Kamathipura’s sex workers to provide them with an education and pathways out of the cycle of inter-generational prostitution.

Inspired by the lives of the young girls of Kamathipura, bAKEHOUSE commissioned the development of Jatinga, partnering with award-winning actor and director Faezeh Jalali, international social activist and performer Sapna Bhavani, bAKEHOUSE artistic associate Jarrod Crellin and Hindi playwright Purva Naresh whose work includes the Laadli National Media Award winning play OK Tata Bye Bye based on the Bachchda women of central India who, by tradition, are sex workers.

Suzanne Millar, director of Jatinga said, “our work in India is an experiment in the power of the arts to transform lives. Theatre can speak to a community about who they are, and who they want to be ”“ and the girls at AAWC want their stories to be told.”

Jatinga will feature a stellar cast of Sydney’s finest theatre talent including Suz Mawer and Monroe Reimers (The Laden Table), Sheila Kumar (The Pearlfishers, OA), Jarrod Crellin (Black Jesus), and introducing newcomer Trishala Sharma. As part of the bAKEHOUSE Artistic Cultural Exchange program, the cast will be joined by celebrated actors and activists Faezeh Jalali and Sapna Bhavani, who played an integral part in the show’s development in Mumbai.

Following the world premiere in Sydney, bAKEHOUSE will present Jatinga at the launch of the National Centre of Performing Arts’ prestigious Centrestage Festival in Mumbai in November.

Written by Purva Naresh Directed by Suzanne Millar Dramaturg John Harrison Produced by bAKEHOUSE Theatre Co Stage Manager Andrew McMartin Lighting Design by Benjamin Brockman Sound Design by Tegan Nicholls Sound Operator Yael Crishna Set and Costume Design by Courtney Westbrook Starring Sapna Bhavnani, Faezeh Jalali, Suz Mawer, Monroe Reimers, Trishala Sharma, Teresa Tate, Karina Bracken, Sheila Kumar, Amrik Tumber, Bali Padda, Claudette Clark, Charlie Vaux and Sri Sacdpraseuth

Dates: 9th ”“ 24th June, 2017. Previews: 9th”“14th. Opening 15th June

Times: 7.30pm Tuesdays ”“ Saturdays, 5pm Sundays

Venue: Kings Cross Theatre – Level 2, Kings Cross Hotel, Kings Cross

Tickets: Adult $35 | Concession $30 | Previews and Cheap Tuesday $25

More information and bookings: www.bakehousetheatrecompany.com.au

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