The Asian Co-Operative Theatre logo (c) Suresh Vedak
'Professor Alvaro', The Wizard (August 1908), p.1

'Professor Alvaro', The Wizard (August 1908), p. 1

British Asian Theatre Project

Project Participants

Graham Ley – project leader, 2004-2009.

Dr. Sarah Dadswell – Research Fellow to the project 2004-2009.

Stephen Hodge – specialist in live and performance art.

Jerri Daboo - specialist in intercultural and interdisciplinary approach to actor training and performance.

Chandrika Patel – holder of the AHRC-funded PhD Project Studentship. Chandrika was awarded her PhD in 2008.

Project Studentship: Chandrika Patel

Chandrika completed her MA in Applied Drama at the University of Exeter in 2003. Her dissertation was based on a research with the Vidya group which practices forum theatre based on girl-child issues in the slum areas in Ahmedabad.

In 2004 she was awarded the AHRC scholarship to study for her PhD as part of the British Asian Theatre Project hosted in the Drama Department at the University. In this capacity, she participated in the extensive fieldwork research, which incorporated interviews with practitioners and members of the South Asian communities in the UK.

Her PhD was awarded by the University of Exeter in 2008. The thesis title is The Taste of British South Asian Performance.

The thesis is concerned with the study of signs used in British South Asian theatres and the extent to which they determine British Asian work. Through studying Rangacharya’s translation of the Natyasastra in this connection, alongside the theories of Brecht (on gestus) and semiotics, she constructed a subtle approach to the identification and analysis of the signs used in British Asian theatre, whether these be located in the performer’s body or as aspects of the mise en scène, in design elements such as costume, sound, film projection, or objects of significance. Her research draws upon experience of over sixty performances, attendance at various South Asian arts related events, and interviews with practitioners and South Asian community members who are/have been active in practising theatre and other artistic activities in Britain.

Dr Patel has also contributed sections to both books stemming from the British Asian theatre project.


"British-based South Asian Language Theatres", in British South Asian Theatres: A Documented History, edited by Graham Ley and Sarah Dadswell (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2011).

"Imagine, Indiaah…on the British Stage: Exploring Tara’s ‘Binglish’ and Tamasha’s Brechtian Approaches", forthcoming in Critical Essays on British South Asian Theatre, edited by Graham Ley and Sarah Dadswell, which will be published by the University of Exeter Press in the spring of 2012.

This second essay contains examples of analysis drawn from the PhD thesis.