American Theatre Magazine: A Pip in India: How ‘Great Expectations’ Translates to a New Setting

American Theatre Magazine: A Pip in India: How ‘Great Expectations’ Translates to a New Setting

Tanika Gupta’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations is a great undertaking. The play—with two 90-minute acts, two cultures (British and Indian), and two writers—called for two companies and two directors for its mounting. Remy Bumppo Theatre Company and Silk Road Risingof Chicago rose to the challenge, teaming up to stage the mammoth production at Silk Road Rising May 11-July 2.

Nick Sandys, producing artistic director of Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, came across Gupta’s 2011 adaptation of the classic novel in the library. The lengthy 12-character play, which Gupta resets in India, seemed like the perfect opportunity for a coproduction with Silk Road Rising, which highlights the work of Middle Eastern and South Asian writers.

“Remy Bumppo was looking to expand our season, expand our audience, and be more inclusive—all the things that most theatres are doing,” says Sandys, who codirected the play with Lavina Jadhwani.

Gupta transports the classic tale of the orphan Pip and his social-climbing journey from 19th-century England to India in 1861. In her version, Pip travels from Calcutta to Bombay, and the novel’s beloved characters appear in Gupta’s “re-adaptation,” as she calls it, with some discrepancies: The convict Abel Magwitch is an African sailor in the play, and the character of Joe Gargery is a cobbler instead of a blacksmith.

“Tanika elegantly signals that this is not necessarily the Dickens that you are used to,” says Jadhwani about the changes.

Chicago Sun-Times: Playwright transports ‘Great Expectations’ to Calcutta in new staging

Chicago Sun-Times: Playwright transports ‘Great Expectations’ to Calcutta in new staging

British playwright Tanika Gupta has long been captivated by Charles Dickens’ Victorian-era novels, in particular “Great Expectations,” which she first read as a youngster.

“The characters leapt off the page for me — Pip, Magwitch, Miss Havisham, Estella, Herbert Pocket and Joe Gargery — all were beautifully characterized with their own stories of heartbreak and joy,” Gupta says. But what interested her most of all was Pip’s rags to riches story as he “goes on a huge journey of self knowledge, wealth and penury.”

Daily Herald: 'Expectations' great for Silk Road, Remy Bumppo collaboration of Dickens' classic

Daily Herald: 'Expectations' great for Silk Road, Remy Bumppo collaboration of Dickens' classic

Jamil Khoury knows a good proposal when he hears one. And Khoury, co-founder and artistic director of Silk Road Rising in Chicago, heard what he believed was a winning pitch from fellow theater artist Nick Sandys.

Sandys, artistic director of Chicago's Remy Bumppo Theatre and an artistic associate with Oak Brook's First Folio Theatre, proposed the companies collaborate on a production of "Great Expectations," adapted by Tanika Gupta from Charles Dickens' novel about an impoverished young man determined to improve his social standing.

Unique adaptation of Great Expectations by British-Indian playwright premieres in Chicago

Unique adaptation of Great Expectations by British-Indian playwright premieres in Chicago

Charles Dickens’ famous novel “Great Expectations” adapted by Tanika Gupta, had its U.S. premier in Chicago May 11. It goes on till July 2, and is co-presented by Silk Road Rising and Remy Bumppo Theatre.

It is co-directed by Lavina Jadhwani and Nick Sandys.

Transplanted in Calcutta in a colonial India, this tale of aspiration, intrigue, and romance featuresIndian orphan Pip, played by Anand Bhatt, and a cast of multi-ethnic characters.

Picture This Post - PREVIEW Silk Road Rising and Remy Bumppo GREAT EXPECTATIONS – Finding the Immigrant Story

Picture This Post - PREVIEW Silk Road Rising and Remy Bumppo GREAT EXPECTATIONS – Finding the Immigrant Story

Chicago theatre companies Silk Road Rising and Remy Bumppo Theatre Company are teaming up for the American premiere of Tanika Gupta’s Great Expectations. In this adaptation of Charles Dickens’s beloved 1861 novel, the setting is moved to Calcutta, where Pip, an Indian boy of a low caste, gains a patron who sets him on the path to becoming a barrister of the British Empire. The play will run at Silk Road Rising’s home at Pierce Hall in the Historic Chicago Temple Building from May 11 to July 2, 2017.
Read more at: http://www.picturethispost.com/silk-road-rising-remy-bumppo-great-expectations-preview/

Broadway World Chicago - Silk Road Rising & Remy Bumppo to Present "GREAT EXPECTATIONS"

Broadway World Chicago - Silk Road Rising & Remy Bumppo to Present "GREAT EXPECTATIONS"

 

Remy Bumppo and Silk Road Rising are pleased to announce that they are joining artistic forces to bring the American premiere of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, adapted by Tanika Gupta, to Chicago.

This bold re-imagining, set in 19th century Calcutta during the British Raj, will be co-directed by Lavina Jadhwani and Nick Sandys. Press Opening is Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm at Pierce Hall in the Historic Chicago Temple Building.