River On Fire

by Rukhsana Ahmad

February 2001

Lyric Hammersmith | UK Tour

Kiran, a young British Asian actress from London is recruited by an Indian film director to play the part of Shola, a Mogul Antigone. But the death of her screenwriter aunt throws her life into turmoil by putting her into direct conflict with her Indian cousins and forces her to grapple with communalism as it spills over into her life.

Set against the Bombay riots of December 1992 in which an astonishing 46 people were killed, this is a contemporary re-working of the ancient myth, Antigone; still relevant to our times, particularly in a South Asian context where communalism still continues to divide us. Stories emerge from the ashes of the fires that engulfed Bombay.
River on Fire was shortlisted for the 2002 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Writer Rukhsana Ahmad

picture of woman writer

Rukhsana is a playwright, writer and translator. Stage plays include: Song for a Sanctuary, Gatekeeper’s Wife, River on Fire, Mistaken: Annie Besant in India and Letting Go. For BBC Radio, besides originals, she has adapted: Nawal El Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero, Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, R. K. Narayan’s The Guide, Kiran Desai’s The […]

About the writer
About the play

ripe with tensions… this very able cast tell the story of how family squabbles … can become highly political when religion is involved…. it stays with you…

Time Out

Excellent to see Kali Theatre proving as innovative yet mainstream as ever.

The Stage


31 October – 18 November 2001

Lyric Hammersmith


27  Feb – 1 March 2001

Leicester Haymarket


7 March 2001

The Hawth


10 March 2001

The Gantry



Cast | Creatives | Crew

Cast and Crew

Lyric Hammersmith Cast
Ravi Aujla, Lyndam Gregory, Shiv Grewal, Shelley King, Parminder K Nagra, Parminder Sekhon
Touring Production Cast
Ravi Aujla, Sumitra Bhagat, Lyndam Gregory, Shelley King, Rina Mahoney, Sanjit Sil
Helena Bell (formally Uren)
Sophia Lovell Smith
Lighting Designer
Flick Ansell
Sound Designer
Ansuman Biswas
London Stage Manager
Federica Lippi
London Assistant Stage Manager
Demelza Fry
Tour Technical Manager
James Clotfelter
Tour Company Stage Manager
Allana Sheard
Kathak Dance Choreographer
Gauri Sharma Tripathi
Flight Director
Richard Ryan
Assistant Fight Director
Bret Yount
Press and Marketing Consultant
Suman Bhuchar

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