Casting announced for The Village at Theatre Royal Stratford East

The Village

The Village

Theatre Royal Stratford East has announced the full cast for the world premiere of The Village, a new adaptation by April De Angelis of Lope de Vega’s Fuenteovejuna and the first production in Nadia Fall’s inaugural season as Artistic Director. The Village stars Anya Chalotra as Jyoti and Art Malik as The Inspector, they will be joined by Harki Bhambra, Sudha Bhuchar, Ameet Chana, Neil D’Souza, Souad Faress, Rina Fatania, Naeem Hayat, Scott Karim, Arian Nik, Humera Syed and Ragevan Vasan. Musicians include Nawazish Ali-Khan (Vocals, violin and harmonium), Robinkumar R Christian (Bansuri) and Keval Joshi (Percussion).

Transported to contemporary India, The Village is a powerful story of community, solidarity and the lengths each of us are willing to go to protect ourselves from tyranny. Vega’s masterpiece is given renewed urgency and was previously performed by Joan Littlewood and the Theatre Workshop in 1955.

Village life for Jyoti is simple: the people work hard, sing and live off the earth. She would much rather devour a delicious meal than think about a suitable partner. But when the Inspector and his men arrive back in town, things quickly begin to sour. The Inspector’s reign of terror sees him commit unspeakable acts against the village with young Jyoti in his sights, pushing everyone to breaking point. Will she dare scorn his advances?

Artistic Director, Nadia Fall, said: “The Village looks at the true cost of populism, how behind a smiling facade the manipulation and oppression of everyday people is taking place the world over. But there is a line when enough is enough, and what I love about this story is that it’s a young woman, an Indian village girl, a so called nobody, that cries out against the brutality and leads the uprising.”

To celebrate the opening of the new season and continuing Theatre Royal Stratford East’s commitment to accessibility and welcoming new audiences into the building we are pleased to be announcing a new preview ticket initiative.  During previews all seats for The Village and The Wolves will be priced at £10 and £5 for Newham residents.

Harki Bhambra plays Gopi. His theatre credits include Object Love (Dissolve Theatre), Mind The Gap (Unity Theatre) and her television credits include Our Girl Series 3, Two Doors Down, Hospital People, Drifters, Doctor Who, Londongrad.

Sudha Bhuchar plays Ishani. Her theatre credits include Lions and Tigers (Shakespeare’s Globe), Khandan (Birmingham Rep/Royal Court Theatre), A Fine Balance (Tamasha/Hampstead Theatre) & Haroun & The Sea of Stories (National Theatre). Her television credits include Coronation StreetCasualty, Holby CityThe Living and The DeadDoctorsThe Enfield HauntingVera & three series of Stella. Film credits include Colin’s New YearMary Poppins Returns and The Magnificent Eleven. Sudha also works extensively on Radio 4 and in 2017 was in the BBC Radio Drama Company. Credits include My Son The Doctor which she also co wrote (with Saleyha Ahsan). Sudha is also a playwright, co-founder of Tamasha and recently launched her new company Bhuchar Boulevard with a revival of her play Child of the Divide. Other writing credits include Fourteen Songs, Two Weddings and a Funeral and Strictly Dandia (with Kristine Landon-Smith), My Name is…which she also adapted for Radio 4, The House of Bilquis Bibi (a transposition to Pakistan of Lorca’s The House of Bernada Alba) & Balti Kings (with Shaheen Khan).

Anya Chalotra plays Jyoti. Anya is a recent graduate of Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Her theatre credits include Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe). Her television credits include The ABC Murders, Sherwood and Wanderlust.

Ameet Chana plays Mango. His theatre credits include What Shadows (Edinburgh Lyceum/Park Theatre London), Anita & Me (Birmingham Rep/Theatre Royal Stratford East), Happy Birthday Sunita (Watford Palace Theatre/UK and International tour), The Djinns of Eidgah and Behind the Image: The Spiral (Royal Court Theatre), Papa Was a Bus Conductor Innit (Lyric Hammersmith), Crazy Horse (Paines Plough) and Voices In The Wind (National Theatre). His television credits include Doctors, Casualty, EastEnders, Holby City, The League of Gentlemen, Roger Roger and The Accused. His film credits include Trendy, The Black Prince, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Run, Fat Boy, Run, Bend It Like Beckham.

Neil D’Souza plays Ramdev. His theatre include Beginners (Unicorn Theatre), The Hypocrite, Much Ado About Nothing, Midnight’s Children (RSC), The Dishonoured (Kali Theatre), Coming Up (Watford Palace Theatre), How to Hold Your Breath, Khandan (Royal Court Theatre), Drawing the Line (Hampstead Theatre), Protozoa/Oikos (The Red Room), Herge’s Adventures of Tintin (West End), The Man of Mode (National Theatre), Twelfth Night (West End). On TV, he is a semi-regular in Humans and In The Long Run. Other TV includes Informer, Thanks for the Memories, EastEnders, Not Safe for Work, Citizen Khan, Friday Night Dinner, Doctors, Hustle and Holby City. His film credits include Filth, Still Life, Closed Circuit, Jadoo, Another Me, Wild Target.

Souad Faress plays Gina. Theatre credits include Goats and A Curse (Royal Court Theatre), Chilcot (The Lowry/BAC/NT Studios), Tiger Country and Sugar and Snow (Hampstead Theatre), The House of Bernada Alba (Almeida Theatre), The Permanent Way (Out of Joint/Sydney Theatre Company/ National Theatre Company), Homebody/Kabul (Cheek by Jowl/Young Vic. Her television credits include Game of Thrones, Apple Tree House, Brief Encounters, Berlin Station, Sense8, Cabbage & Patch, Vera, Making of a Lady, Utopia, Hunted, Silent Witness, Holby City, Law & Order. Her film credits include Christopher Robin, Bridget Jones’s Baby, Sixth Happiness, My Beautiful Launderette and Bhaji on the Beach.

Rina Fatania plays Panna. Theatre Credits include The Tin Drum (UK Tour), Oliver Twist (Regents Park, Open Air Theatre), Roller Diner (Soho Theatre), Anita & Me (UK Tour), Sinbad the Sailor, Love N Stuff (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Paradise of the Assassins (Tara Arts), Dead Dog in a Suitcase (Kneehigh Theatre Company UK & International tour), Mummyji Presents (Birmingham Rep), The Empress (RSC), Wah! Wah! Girls (Sadler’s Wells/ UK Tour), Britain’s Got Bhangra (UK Tour), The House of Bilquis Bibi (Hampstead Theatre & UK Tour) and several pantomimes. Her film credits include Raabta, Digital-Mummji Presents, Mumbai Charlie and Travel Londoner. Radio credits include Bindi Business, Baby Farming, We Are Water, Oceans Unite Us and Silver Street, all for the BBC.

Naeem Hayat plays Vihaan. His theatre credits include Sonnet Walks, The Captive Queen, Globe 2 Globe world tour of Hamlet (Shakespeare’s Globe) and Faster-Higher-Stronger-Straighter (Dominion Studio). Film includes Duperie, Undercliffe.

Scott Karim plays Farooq. His theatre credits include The Country Wife (Chichester Festival Theatre), Young Marx (The Bridge Theatre), Imogen, The Merchant of Venice (The Globe), King Lear (Royal & Derngate, and UK Tour), Brave New World (Royal & Derngate, and UK Tour), The Invisible (The Bush), Dara, Great Britain, Othello (National Theatre). His television credits include Electric Dreams, Britannia, Holby City and film includes White Girl.

Art Malik plays The Inspector. His theatre credits include A Man For All Seasons and Equus (Liverpool Playhouse), Aliens (Soho Theatre), Art (Wyndham’s Theatre), Cymbeline (Royal Exchange), Destiny and Timon of Athens (Bristol Old Vic), Great Expectations (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Heroes (UK Tour), Indian Ink (Aldwych Theatre), Othello (Royal Shakespeare Company), Romeo and Juliet, The 88 Prospect and The Government Inspector (The Old Vic), The Seagull (Royal Court Theatre / Broadway) and Trial Run (Young Vic / Oxford Playhouse). Recent television credits include The Woman in White, Bancroft, Sherlock IV, Coldfeet, Goodness Gracious Me special, Indian Summers series 2, Arthur and George, Undercover, Homeland series 4, Borgia, New Tricks, Upstairs Downstairs, Masterpiece Mystery, Poirot, The Nativity, Ben Hur and Lewis. Recent film credits include Halal Daddy, The Escape, The Infiltrator, Diana, Bhaag Mikha Bhaag, John Carter, Ghosted, Mirzya, Sex and the City 2, Wolfman, Hotel and Franklyn.

Arian Nik plays Mekhal. His theatre credits include The Ugly One (Park Theatre) and The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca (Hull Truck). He has recently wrapped on the feature film Artemis Fowl for Disney.

Humera Syed plays Jacinta. Her theatre credits include The Arabian Nights (Royal Lyceum Theatre) and Anita And Me (No 1 Tour).

Ragevan Vasan plays Ved. His theatre credits include Hurling Rubble At The Sun/Moon (Park Theatre), Love For Love, Queen Anne (RSC). His television credits include Save Me, Fortitude, The State, Cuffs, Doctors. Her film credits include Dumbo, Walk Like a Panther, Daphne, The Last Witness.

Lope de Vega (1562 – 1635) was a Spanish playwright, poet and novelist. In addition to Fuenteovejuna, notable works include The Dog in the Manger and Punishment Without Revenge.

April De Angelis is an acclaimed writer whose extensive theatre work includes After Electra, Rune, Gastronauts, Jumpy, an adaptation of Wuthering Heights, A Laughing Matter, A Warwickshire Testimony, The Positive Hour, Playhouse Creatures and The Life and Times of Fanny Hill. She’s currently under commission to the Royal Exchange, Manchester and the National Theatre. De Angelis has also written the libretto for Flight, music by Jonathan Dove, for Glyndebourne Opera and The Silent Twins libretto, which was set to music by Errollyn Wallen. Her work for radio includes an adaptation of Life in the Tomb, a serialisation of Peyton Place, Visitants and The Outlander which won the Writer’s Guild Award in 1992. For television her work includes Aristophanes.

Nadia Fall trained at Goldsmiths College (MA Directing) and on the NT Studio’s Directors programme. Her directing credits include The Suicide, Our Country’s Good, Dara, Chewing Gum Dreams, Home, Hymn, The Doctor’s Dilemma (National Theatre), Hir, Disgraced (Bush Theatre), R and D (Hampstead Theatre), Way Upstream (Chichester Festival Theatre), Hobson’s Choice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), How Was It For You? (Unicorn Theatre), Sticks & Stones (Polka Theatre), The Maids (Lyric Hammersmith), Miss Julie (Croydon Warehouse Theatre) and Wild Turkey (Site Specific). As Associate Director, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Gielgud Theatre), Collaborators, The Habit of Art (National Theatre); and as Staff Director, Rocket to the Moon, Really Old, Like Forty Five, Phèdre and Much Ado About Nothing (National Theatre). Fall has directed at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Unicorn Theatre and led participation initiatives with partners such as the Young Vic, Clean Break, Soho Theatre and the Royal Court. She is also an acting coach, supporting professional actors for film and stage.

Writer April De Angelis

Director Nadia Fall

Designer Joanna Scotcher

Lighting Designer Paul Pyant

Movement Director Polly Bennett

Composer Niraj Chag

Sound Designer Helen Atkinson

Fight Directors RC-Annie

Casting Director Amy Ball

Musicians

Nawazish Ali-Khan (Vocals, violin and harmonium), Robinkumar R Christian (Bansuri) and Keval Joshi (Percussion).