A new stage adaptation of the ancient Indian epic 'Mahabharata' is in the works. It is all set to make its UK premiere at London’s Barbican Theatre. The retelling of the revered text, which follows a devastating family feud and explores profound philosophical and spiritual ideas, is from Canada’s Why Not Theatre and had its world premiere at The Shaw Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada in March.

The production is presented in two parts and narrated by a storyteller (Miriam Fernandes). “Karma” (part 1), is the origin story of the rival Pandava and Kaurava clans. In “Dharma” (part 2), a great battle destroys the planet and the survivors are left behind to rebuild.

“Mahabharata” is performed by a company from across four continents, all from the South Asian diaspora. The cast includes UK-based performers Ajay Chhabra (“Rough Diamonds,” Netflix), Neil D’Souza (“How To Hold Your Breath,” Royal Court), Darren Kuppan (“Let The Right One In,” Manchester Royal Exchange), Goldy Notay (“Life of Pi,” U.K. tour) and Sakuntala Ramanee (“Life of Pi,” West End), who are joined by

Canadian and other international performers Shawn Ahmed, Jay Emmanuel, Fernandes, Navtej Sandhu, Anaka Maharaj-Sandhu, Ellora Patnaik, Meher Pavri, Munish Sharma and Sukania Venugopal, and understudies Varun Guru, Karthik Kadam, Suma Nair, Ronica Sajnani and Ishan Sandhu. The adaption is by Why Not Theatre’s founding artistic director Ravi Jain, who also directs, and co-artistic director Fernandes, using poetry from Carole Satyamurti’s “Mahabharata: A Modern Retelling.”

The original concept was developed with Jenny Koons. Set design is by Lorenzo Savoini, costume design by Gillian Gallow, lighting design by Kevin Lamotte, projections by Hana S Kim, sound design by John Gzowski and Suba Sankaran, original music by John Gzowski and Sankaran, with contributions from Dylan Bell, Gurtej Singh Hunjan, Zaheer-Abbas Janmohamed and Hasheel Lodhia, and choreography by Brandy Leary with contributions by Jay Emmanuel and Ellora Patnaik. 

Lead producers are Michelle Yagi and Kevin Matthew Wong, with production manager Crystal Lee. The audience can see the stage adaptation of 'Mahabharata' from October 1 to October 7.
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