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

Diwali in BC spreads the light until November 17

Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, celebrated every autumn in the northern hemisphere. Diwali in BC, founded in 2017 by Rohit Chokhani, has a goal to spread Diwali celebrations throughout the province over the coming years.

The theme for the 2018 celebrations, running now until November 17, is ‘New Horizons’ and features programming in Vancouver, Coquitlam, Vernon, Maple Ridge, and Nanaimo.

“In our second bold and ambitious year, we respond artistically to racial tensions and gender abuse that continues to threaten the safety of the world in which we live, with the theme of New Horizons,” says Chokhani.

A Vancouver Guldasta

“In A Vancouver Guldasta, we have fresh conversations around trauma and healing through the lens of a Punjabi-Sikh family living with a Vietnamese refugee in Vancouver. In The Believers Are But Brothers we take a deeper look at toxic masculinity, and with Shyama we explore different colours of love, the price of desire, forgiveness, and morality through one of India’s most celebrated playwrights – Rabindranath Tagore. Chokhani adds, “We are also excited to expand our Diwali programming to three new cities while we continue to grow and evolve in the existing cities.”

Here is a look at the 2018 Diwali in B.C. programming:

A Vancouver Guldasta : October 2-21 at Vancity Culture Lab | Presented with The Cultch

Diwali in B.C., Vernon : October 9-13 various events and performances at locations around Vernon, including the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre

Shyama : October 27 at the York Theatre
Co-presented with Vancouver Tagore Society and in community partnership with Mandala Arts & Culture Society, with support from BC Arts Council.

The Believers Are But Brothers
photo: Jack Offord

The Believers Are But Brothers : October 30-November 10 at Vancity Culture Lab | Presented with The Cultch

Diwali in B.C., Maple Ridge : November 10 at The ACT Arts Centre
This inaugural event is presented with The ACT Arts Centre.

Diwali in B.C., Coquitlam : November 11 at Evergreen Cultural Centre
Diwali at Evergreen is in its second year and is presented by the Evergreen Cultural Centre.

For details about these events and more are available at diwalibc.com