Bombay Black returns to the Vancouver stage

In a change from the festive fair on most stages around town, next week The Firehall Arts Centre presents Bombay Black.  

Running December 5 to December 15, 2018, the play by the award-winning novelist and playwright Anosh Irani was heaped with praise during its 2017 production at Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Bombay Black : Arshdeep Purba
Photo: Raymond Kam

Bombay Black is set in the bitter reality of present-day India. The iron-willed Padma (Jessie Award nominee Nimet Kanji) takes money from men who watch her daughter, Apsara (rising star Arshdeep Purba), perform an exotic dance. When a mysterious blind man named Kamal (Jessie Award nominee Munish Sharma) arrives for an appointment, his secret threatens to change each of their lives forever.

Bombay Black (l-r) Munish Sharma & Arshdeep Purba
Photo: Raymond Kam

Directed by Mumbai-born, multiple award-winning Indo-Canadian producer Rohit Chokhani, Bombay Black features a poetic text, bold theatrical imagery and a gritty twist. In a first, Vancouver Arts stalwart Chokhani has reimagined Irani’s work to present the play from the perspective of a blind man. An earlier version of this production, which was Chokhani’s directorial debut at the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival, enjoyed a sold-out run and received the Pick of the Fringe Award.

Donna Spencer had this to say about the production, “As Artistic Producer of the Firehall, I have always been excited about supporting the work of artists from diverse cultural backgrounds and providing opportunities for emerging directors to have their work seen. Rohit Chokhani’s production of Bombay Black provides just that opportunity to showcase his work as a director and to introduce the creative team and actors in the work to our audiences.”

Anosh Irani’s Bombay Black runs at The Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova Street, Wednesday, December 5 to Saturday, December 15th, 2018.

For showtimes and tickets visit firehallartscentre.ca

Cain and Able coming to The Firehall Arts Centre

photo: Sepehr Samimi

A tale of biblical proportions, The Firehall Arts Centre presents The Biting School’s Cain and Abel from October 3rd to October 6th.

Directed and performed by brothers Arash and Aryo Khakpour, Cain and Abel explores the idea of jealousy and sibling rivalry, which leads to fratricidal violence, fueled by the patriarchal society we inhabit.

Inspired by the biblical story of Cain and Abel, the first sons of Adam and Eve. The former, a farmer, and the latter, a shepherd, who meets a tragic end at the hand of his jealous brother.

photo: Sepehr Samimi

Performed in two parts, the first half of the  production studies the depiction and sensation of killing one’s brother in different contexts, and is highly physical, aggressive in rhythm and stereotypically masculine. The second half of the performance presents a reaction to the absence of women from the biblical story. Inspired by Jean Genet’s The Maids, this second act is a study of Cain and Abel as two sisters.

The Firehall’s Artistic Producer Donna Spencer says, “When I consider the Cain and Abel story now, it serves as a metaphor for the jockeying for power between governments and global corporations, and how in that jockeying  to control territory, resources and social values, their choices lead to violent confrontations, collapse of local economies, and displacement of thousands of individuals. With this production, The Biting School explores both the traditional story and the possibility of what might have happened had Eve given birth to daughters and encourages us to ask the question: would our current reality indeed be different if Cain and Abel had been born female?”

Cain and Able plays at 8pm, Wednesday, October 3 to Saturday, October 6, 2018 at The Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova St.  Tickets are available online from firehallartscentre.ca/onstage/cain-and-abel/