Modern adaptation combining French farce with Bollywood comes to Hornchurch’s Queen’s Theatre
PUBLISHED: 10:00 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:16 16 March 2018
Passion and class clash in a modern adaptation of a classic French play.
Actor, comedian and playwright Nigel Planer has teamed up with Tara Arts’ artistic director Jatinder Verma to produce The Game of Love and Chai.
The play is an adaption of Marivaux’s classic French farce, The Game of Love and Chance, which tells the story of a betrothal in 1730s France.
Nigel is best known for his role as Neil in the BBC comedy The Young Ones.
He said: “I’ve been hooked on Indian cinema since 1973. I love its range, its daring and its ridiculous sense of fun.
“So when I came across Marivaux’s play – a mistaken identity comedy about the foolish things we do when we fall in love – the connection seemed obvious.
“With Marivaux, as with so-called Bollywood, the main thing is to completely abandon oneself and let foolishness and love take over.”
The Game of Love and Chai centres on a marriage between two modern day Asian families.
Kamala wants her daughter Rani to marry successful but emotionally awkward businessman Raj.
Rani is not happy about going down the conventional route and so she arranges a test for Raj.
She convinces her cousin Sita to swap places and pretend to be the suitable bride – unaware that Raj has come up with the same scheme with his driver, Nitin.
Jatinder Verma was the first Asian or black director at the National Theatre, his productions include The Little Clay Cart and The Black Album.
He said: “Nigel Planer’s version of Marivaux’s classic farce brings to the fore my abiding interest in connecting the worlds of East and West – connections that have enriched the theatrical cultures of both halves of the planet.
“Nigel’s new play brilliantly re-imagines Marivaux for today’s multicultural audiences, bringing a touch of India to this comic clash of passion and class.”
The Game of Love and Chai is playing at the Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane from April 19 - 21.