By Alice, Sampad Intern
Sudha Bhuchar’s new self-written, one-woman monologue will be taking Midlands Arts Centre by storm on the 28th of September. As Bhuchar meditates on her ‘squeezed middle’ life (middle aged, middle class, multicultural mother to millennial sons) themes of identity, family and generational difference are touched upon, lingered on and then delved into. These ideas are woven through Bhuchar’s meandering, thoughtful words as the critically acclaimed writer, actor and founder of Tamasha and Bhuchar Boulevard invites you to join her for an Evening Conversation.
Self-described as ‘multilingual by osmosis’, Bhuchar speaks with many inherited languages on her tongue, blending them into one colloquial form of expression. As though an old friend has invited you in on a cold night, given you a hot tea and begun to speak of times gone by, so does Bhuchar welcome her audience. A loose narrative made of many crossing threads stitches a portrait of ‘middle life’; both widely unique and irresistibly relatable, Bhuchar’s piece provokes questions on our concepts of motherhood, generational trauma, and multiculturalism. The title of the work itself comes from the name of her eldest son; family, and what it means to be a parent of children with mixed identities, is a key topic of deliberation for Evening Conversations.
Bhuchar has worked with Sampad before to bring her formidable work to MAC. Indeed, it was Sampad’s own Piali Ray who cajoled Sudha to perform at an evening for Asian Women- the event which kick-started Evening Conversations. Sampad’s working relationship with Sudha can be traced back to 2014, when her company at the time, Tamasha, performed My Name Is at MAC. A heart-wrenching tale of identity and parenthood, the story focused on Gaby/Ghazala and her dual identity as a Scottish Muslim. Concepts of ‘Britishness’ and what it constitutes are ever-present in Bhuchar’s work, as she asks poignant questions about the migrant experience and the struggle to reconcile one’s conflicting selves. These are ideas pervasive throughout her career, from Tamasha’s 1989 production of Untouchable, which Bhuchar starred in, to Evening Conversations.
For a show that is ‘utterly delightful’ and ‘so, so timely’ (Carole Woddis), see Evening Conversations this September at MAC.