The play is set in the late eighteenth century during the decline of the Moghul Empire when Shah Alam was emperor and India swarmed with a variety of European mercenary soldiers and adventurers who came to make their fortunes by taking part in the power-struggles that were going on. The play focuses first, on a military brigade led by a Swiss German soldier of fortune named Col. Walter Reinhardt Sombre. It was one of the best-trained brigades and had a component of 273 Europeans, many of them were deserters from the British and other European armies, along with 2,700 Indian soldiers.
They were a tough lot who demanded loyalty and wages — by the roughest means. Col. Sombre came to be known in India as Sumroo’s through a mispronunciation of his last name.
The play shows how an extremely capable Indian woman, with humble beginnings as an impoverished dancing-girl, took over the brigade from its smitten European commander, led it, made it the most efficient in India, never lost a battle, rescued an Emperor, was wooed by the English and French, had lovers of many nationalities and, among her fans, she could eventually count men of the cloth including the Pope.
She also built a couple of palaces and churches that may be seen to this day. She was like an Indian equivalent of Joan of Arc but succeeded so admirably in all she did that she avoided being martyred and is therefore not remembered except by a few historians. In short, the play is about a European-officered brigade and an amazing Indian woman who was ahead of her time and ours. ISBN: 8129105179 Publisher: RUPA & CO Subtitle: Author: PARTAP SHARMA
In a series of interviews with fifty playwrights from the US and UK, this book offers a fascinating study of the voices, thoughts, and opinions of today’s most important dramatists.
Filled with probing questions, Fifty Playwrights on their Craft explores ideas such as how does playwriting help a global dialogue; where do dramatists find the ideas that become the stories and narratives within their plays; how can the stage inform the writer’s creative process; how does crossing boundaries between art forms push the living art form of theatre-making forward; and will there be playwrights in another 50 years? Through these interrogating interviews we come to understand how and why playwrights write what they do and gain insight into their processes and motivations. Together, the interviews provide an inter-generational dialogue between dramatists whose work spans over six decades.
Featuring interviews with playwrights such as Edward Bond, Katori Hall, Chris Goode, David Greig, Willy Russell, David Henry Hwang, Alecky Blythe, Anne Washburn and Simon Stephens, Jester and Svich offer an unprecedented view into the multiple perspectives and approaches of key playwrights on both sides of the Atlantic.