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Inspirational women fighting for equality: Pink Sari Revolution

In India’s rural Uttar Pradesh province violence towards women is rife. Sampat Pal, leader of the notorious, working class feminist movement ‘The Gulabi Gang’, is fighting for change. With the gang boasting 400,000 members and growing, with a uniform of blazing pink saris, women are finding the strength and empowerment to stand up and fight against the violence in the ‘badlands’ of India.

Pink Sari Revolution tells the real-life story of the formidable Sampat Pal and the gang as they challenge the daily oppression. Based on a book of the same name by the internationally renowned author and journalist Amana Fontanella-Khan, this explosive new drama reveals the real cost of making a stand.

West Yorkshire Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining said: “This is a truly inspiring story of how a brave and strong group of women are standing up against the violence and demands a deep patriarchal culture has placed on them. It is a hugely powerful production and I am thrilled to be co-producing with our equally inspirational partners, Leicester Curve, Belgrade Theatre and English Touring theatre, to share this story far and wide.”

In a joint statement, Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said: “As well as entertaining, theatre holds a mirror to society and challenges the injustices of our times. The powerful true story of the Pink Sari Revolution does both of these things brilliantly. We are indebted to our producing partners at Belgrade Theatre Coventry, West Yorkshire Playhouse and English Touring Theatre and our project funders Arts Council England and British Council for enabling us to tell this incredible story.”

Pink Sari Revolution is directed by award-winning theatre director and Curve’s Associate Director Suba Das. The production has been adapted for the stage by Indian playwright Purva Naresh, winner of the United Nations Laadli Media Award for her work on gender. Pink Sari Revolution has Lighting Design by Olivier award winner Tim Lutkin and Set and Costume design by Isla Shaw (The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, West Yorkshire Playhouse). Incorporating elements of traditional Indian music and dance, Composition and Sound Design is by Indian Artist Naren Chandavarkar and Curve Associate Artist Aakash Odedra provides movement direction.

Taking the lead role of Sampat Pal is Syreeta Kumar, an actor known for her frequent work with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), as well as roles in television such as Apple Tree Yard and films including Notes on a Scandal.

The company is completed by Goldy Notay (It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, Bend it Films and Handful of Henna, Sheffield Crucible), Munir Khairdin (Whitechapel, Carnival Films and As You Like It, Curve), Ronak Patani (Macbeth, National Theatre and Primetime, Royal Court), Sharan Phull (Romeo and Juliet, National Theatre and The Importance of Being Earnest, Curve) and Ulrika Krishnamurti (Made in India, UK National tour and Rockford, Sic Productions).

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