Following Delay, Rafta, Rafta…, Olivier-Winning Comedy About Indian Family, Begins March 22

News   Following Delay, Rafta, Rafta…, Olivier-Winning Comedy About Indian Family, Begins March 22
Ayub Khan-Din's Rafta, Rafta…, winner of the 2008 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy for its acclaimed run at The National Theatre in London, gets a new American production starting March 22, three days later than previously announced, at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, CA.

Geeta Citygirl Chopra, Mahira Kakkar and Rachid Sabitri
Geeta Citygirl Chopra, Mahira Kakkar and Rachid Sabitri Photo by J. Katarzyna Woronowicz

Saturday and Sunday performances were canceled due to a recent cast change that prompted extra needed rehearsals. Performances play to April 24. Opening is now set for March 27 rather than March 24.

Ranjit Chowdhry, who was set for the role of Eeshwar Dutt, withdrew due to illness. The role of Eeshwar Dutt is now being played by Kamal Marayati.

The comedy, directed by Jonathan Silverstein and based on the 1960s story "All in Good Time" by Bill Naughton, "takes a hilarious look at the generational divide on sex and marriage within a close-knit Indian family living in England," according to Old Globe notes. "Following their wedding, two newlyweds find that starting their life together under the groom's family's roof is no honeymoon. With warmth and humor, this British comedy examines what happens when a young couple must choose between saving money or their marriage."

The title, translated from Urdu, means "Slowly, Slowly." It's a line in the Hindustani language of Urdu from a famous poem that begins: "Slowly, slowly, she became the power of my existence."

The New Group presented the play's American debut Off-Broadway in 2008. The Old Globe cast features Shalin Agarwal (as Etash Tailor), Geeta Citygirl Chopra (as Lopa Dutt), Amir Darvish (as Jivaj Bhatt), Nasser Faris (as Laxman Patel), Ariya Ghahramani (as Jai Dutt), Mahira Kakkar (as Vina Patel), Caralyn Kozlowski (as Molly Bhatt), Kamal Marayati (as Eeshwar Dutt), Gita Reddy (as Lata Patel) and Rachid Sabitri (as Atul Dutt).

The creative team includes Alexander Dodge (scenic design), Christal Weatherly (costume design), Lap Chi Chu (lighting design), Paul Peterson (sound design), Gillian Lane-Plescia (dialect coach), Reetu Patel (movement consultant), Mark Danisovszky (music consultant) and Leila Knox and Diana Moser (stage managers).

Playwright Khan-Din was born in 1961 and grew up in Salford, Manchester. After leaving school he worked briefly as a hairdresser before enrolling in drama school, where he wrote his first stage play, East is East (1997), for Tamasha, a theatre company in London. An autobiographical story of a mixed-race family growing up in an overcrowded terraced house in a white, working-class area of Salford in the early 1970s, it was first staged at the Royal Court Theatre in London and subsequently adapted (by himself) into a feature film. His second play, Last Dance at Dum Dum (1999), concerns the septuagenarian members of the dwindling Anglo-Indian community in Calcutta, still clinging tightly to their old imperial past. Notes on Falling Leaves (2004) was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre. His new film, "West is West" (a follow-up to "East is East"), will open soon. A film version of Rafta, Rafta… will follow in June. He recently delivered his commissioned play, Fauzi, based on Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, to Lincoln Center Theater. Khan-Din’s latest play, All the Way Home, will premiere in Manchester, England, and he is currently working on a musical for the Royal National Theatre called Bunty Berman Presents…

Director Silverstein helmed the acclaimed Off-Broadway world premiere of The Temperamentals (Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble).

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