The Asian Co-Operative Theatre logo (c) Suresh Vedak
Flier for the performance of The Great Gogia Pasha: World’s Greatest Magician © The Magic Circle, London

Flier for the performance of The Great Gogia Pasha: World’s Greatest Magician © The Magic Circle, London

British Asian Theatre Project

The British Asian Theatre Project was a 4-year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council that documented the presence of South Asians on the British stage, from magicians of the 1790s to new generations of British Asians. Its duration was from October 2004 until March 2009.

The research team, Graham Ley, Dr. Sarah Dadswell, Stephen Hodge and Jerri Daboo aimed to provide a critical and documentary history of this major aspect of the modern and contemporary British theatre, with particular emphasis on the period from 1975, when Tara Arts was founded by Jatinder Verma. The project had an AHRC-funded PhD studentship, held by Chandrika Patel.

The Project Outline provides a detailed description of the aims and objectives of the project. The team’s research extended to both community and professional theatre and forms of South Asian live performance. In addition attention was given to the historical development of South Asian live performance in the following regions: Bradford, Oldham and Manchester, Leicester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and Tower Hamlets and Southall. The research team conducted interviews in these areas, and with a wide range of theatre practitioners.

The Project Output will consist of academic articles and two books. The Department of Drama hosted a Conference in 2008, which placed the research findings in the wider international context of migrant and diaspora theatre.

See now in addition the new AHRC-funded project, The Southall Story, led by Jerri Daboo.