A young couple return home to confront the fault lines of prejudice and cultural division that had driven them to find sanctuary just a few miles down the road in Birmingham. Reflecting a real slice of life in the Black Country, A Thin Red Line explores today’s social and cultural partitions, both hidden and visible, in the way we see other people’s loyalties, religion and sense of home.
This thought-provoking new commission from Midlands born writer Sonali Bhattacharyya (South Bank Award nominee for White Open Spaces), was inspired and provoked by a series of workshops with a diverse range of Black Country community groups, using the 60th anniversary of the partition of India as its starting point.
Writer Sonali Bhattacharyya
Sonali Bhattacharyya is an award-winning playwright whose credits include Megaball (National Theatre Learning), 2066 (Almeida Theatre), The Invisible Boy (Kiln Theatre), Slummers (Cardboard Citizens/The Bunker), Behind the Blast Wall (Palindrome/Theatre 503), These Four Streets (Birmingham Rep), A Thin Red Line (Kali Theatre/Birmingham Rep/Black Country Touring) and the South Bank Show award nominated White Open Spaces […]About the writer
Where do you belong if you are no longer welcome at home?
A Thin Red Line grew out of a series of workshops with diverse community groups in the Black Country and Birmingham, each starting with the central question: What does partition mean today?There seemed to be a contrast between the kindness and generosity expressed by these groups towards others, and the way they lived, which was largely segregated, with little crossover between diverse communities outside of places of work and education. The issue of who transgressed these boundaries and the consequences for them when they did come up several times in the workshops. This inspired the characters of Pamela and Irfan and the play explores what happens when the couple return home to the Black Country after ten years away to confront the ignorance and prejudice that drove them away.
The story was very true to life. A true reflection of what’s going on in the world today between different cultures and how they’re divided because people tend to stick to their own types.
Naz Koser, Director of Ulfah Arts
It was a chance to highlight particular issues, prejudices and joys faced by the women
Wed 7 Nov 7pm Ulfah Arts
Thu 8 Nov 7.30pm Community Action Project
Sat 10 Nov 4pm Smethwick Library
Mon 19 Nov 7.45pm The Rep – The Door
Wed 21 Nov 7.30pm Gujarati Hindu Social and Cultural Centre
Fri 23 Nov 7.15pm Soho Theatre Studio
Sat 24 Nov 7 .45pm Watermans
Tue 27 Nov 7.30pm Arena Theatre