The Bethnal Green show to mix TS Eliot and Indian culture

6:42 PM November 13, 2021

Two masterpieces of 20th century literature are used to blend western and eastern culture in a centenary performance at the Rich Mix arts center in Bethnal Green.

Sunday’s 6 p.m. performance celebrates The Waste Land by TS Eliot and the 1921 Bengali poem Bidrohi by Kazi Nazrul Islam, commonly translated as rebel.

The Saudha Society of Poetry and Indian Music live music, spoken word and theatrical production also features Eliot’s famous interview with Professor Shiv Kumar and his interpretation of Indology.

“It is a symbolic fusion of two rich poetic traditions of the world”, reveals its director Ahmed Kaysher.

“It blends Eliot uttering the meditative Indian mantra ‘shantih shantih shantih’ with Bengali Islamic poetry almost inflamed with anti-colonial and anti-sectarian verse.

“They were perhaps describing the same crumbling wasteland in different ways as the world faced war and moral decay.”

Poet John Farndon plays TS Eliot in Sunday’s production, with Manash Chowdhury as Poet Islam and Shantanu Goswami as Professor Kumar.

Ahmed’s production is touring Europe, then Bangladesh and India shortly after the November 14 performance at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green Road.

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