By Abhishek Majumdar
Performed at The Royal Court
“I just lit up. I did not burn”
In a remote Tibetan village, Deshar, a young runaway has disowned her father Tsering and become a Buddhist nun.
In Lhasa, Chinese Commander Deng is working for the future of the country, unable to meet the needs of his wife and daughter.
When Deshar carries out an act of defiance it reverberates across the whole country and a new freedom struggle is born with life changing consequences for Deshar, Deng and their families.
“Tell that girl, she has changed Tibet forever.”
Pah-La, based on real stories during the 2008 Lhasa riots, is an examination of the future of non-violence. The play was developed through research in Tibet and with the community in exile. This included workshops in collaboration with Tibet Theatre in Dharmashala, India where the Tibetan Government in Exile is based, working with actors from the Tibetan community including the Tibetan Transit School. As part of his research the playwright Abhishek Majumdar met with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Abhishek also met with several Tibetans and Chinese people from Lhasa, Shigatse, Beijing and areas of Kham who cannot be named for security reasons.
Daniel York Loh
Designer: Lily Arnold
Lighting Design: Jessica Hung Han Yun
Composer and Sound Designer: Tom Gibbons
Movement Director: Quang Kien Van
Photography: Helen Murray.
“Fascinating.” — Michael Billington, Guardian
“Potent” — John Nathan, Metro
”[A] powerful piece of theatre.” — Ann Treneman, The Times
“Provocative” — Dominic Cavendish, The Daily Telegraph
“A very ambitious piece of work” — Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out
”Debbie Hannan’s production is thoroughly atmospheric and absorbing.” — Aleks Sierz, The Art Desk