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Sudha Bhuchar (born 1961 or 1962[1]) is a Tanzanian-born British Asian actor, playwright, and co-founder of the Tamasha Theatre Company.[2] She is best known for Tamasha's Balti Kings (1999), A Fine Balance (2005), The Trouble with Asian Men (2005), and My Name Is... (2014) as well as numerous screenplays for television and film.[3] Bhuchar's playwriting and producing work focuses on the stories of British Asians with the goal of attracting culturally and ethnically diverse audiences.[4] She has been called "one of Britain's most successful artistic theatre directors and well-established actors" by Asian Culture Vulture online magazine.[5]

Contents

Early life and educationEdit

Bhuchar was born in Tanga, Tanzania, to Indian parents.[3] She identifies as British Asian and spent her childhood traveling back and forth between East Africa and India. When Bhuchar was 11 years old, the family moved to England, living in King's Lynn in Norfolk for a year and then moving to London, where she went to school in Fulham.[6] She describes herself as "a chronically shy teenager" and focused academically on science and maths, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Maths and Sociology from Roehampton Institute (now known as University of Roehampton).[4] Bhuchar credits her first interest with theatre to attending the performance of Tara Arts, a South Asian cultural entertainment group, at a Diwali celebration in 1979. She joined the group to connect with other young British Asians.[1]

She lives in London with her sons and husband.[4]

Professional lifeEdit

Tamasha Theatre CompanyEdit

In 1989, Bhuchar and director Kristine Landon-Smith founded Tamasha Theatre Company with the mission of popularizing Asian art into the British mainstream culture, diversifying narratives, and encouraging developing artists from ethnic minorities.[7] At Tamasha, Bhuchar has worked as a playwright, actor, and co-Artistic Director. In a 1999 interview with The Guardian, Bhuchar explained that casting opportunities for Asian actors in England are limited and "unimaginative".[8]

According to Bhuchar in a 2014 interview with London Calling cultural review, Tamasha is a "political company" that encourages "diversity in the arts, representation on the stages, [and] writers from backgrounds which don't normally birth artists and writers".[9]

Bhuchar and Landon-Smith jointly won the 2005 Asian Women of Achievement Awards for Arts and Culture and the 2010 First Women Award in the Tourism and Leisure Category. [3]

In 2015, Bhuchar retired from her co-Artistic Director position at Tamasha and founded a new theatre company, Bhuchar Boulevard, in 2015.[7]

Bhuchar BoulevardEdit

In 2015, after leaving Tamasha Theatre Company, Bhuchar founded Bhuchar Boulevard with the goal of continuing to diversify British theatre by featuring more artists of color and challenging its audience to more critically and empathetically examine their surrounding communities.[4] The title of the theatre company is a nod to Bhuchar's "global family" and their efforts to push for a sense of belonging and recognition in mainstream Western culture and is publicly funded by Arts Council England.[4]

Bhuchar Boulevard creates new plays- most recently, Child of the Divide (2017) and Golden Hearts (2014). It also combines activism for diversifying arts and other public causes, such as with Bhuchar's work with Golden Hearts and its 2016 partnership with East London Genes & Health to prevent premature heart failure among Asian men.[10]

As Artistic Director of Bhuchar Boulevard, Sudha Bhuchar also works as a commissioned playwright. She most recently collaborated with Tamasha and Paines Plough Theatre Companies, writing a collection of monologues entitled Come To Where I'm From (2017).[4]

TV and RadioEdit

Bhuchar has appeared in TV soap operas EastEnders and Coronation Street,[11] and created the role of solicitor Usha Gupta in radio soap The Archers.[12]

In 2016 she appeared on BBC Radio 4's Great Lives, nominating Indian actress Zohra Sehgal.[13]

Playwriting and Screenwriting Selected Works[2]Edit

Title of Play Year of Premiere Authorship Notes
Untouchable 1989 Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith, based on the novel of the same name by Mulk Raj Anand Tamasha's first production
House of the Sun 1991 Sudha Bhuchar
A Tainted Dawn 1997 Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith
Fourteen Songs, Two Weddings and a Funeral 1998 Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith, adapted from the film Hum Aapke Hain Koun by Sooraj Barjatya Winner of the Barclays Theatre Award for Best Musical and BBC Asia Award for Achievement in the Arts
Balti Kings 1999 Sudha Bhuchar and Shaheen Khan
Ryman and the Shiekh 2002 Sudha Bhuchar, Kristine Landon-Smith, Rehan Sheikh, Chris Ryman and Richard Vranch
Strictly Dandia 2003 Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith
The Trouble with Asian Men 2005 Created by Sudha Buchar, Kristine Landon-Smith, and Louise Wallinger
Child of the Divide 2006 Sudha Buchar, adapted from the short story Pali by Bhisham Sahni Best Kids' Show of 2006 Time Out London
A Fine Balance 2006 Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith, adapted from the novel of the same name by Rohinton Mistry
The House of Bilquis Bibi 2010 Sudha Buchar, adapted from the play The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico Garcia Lorca
My Name Is... 2014 Sudha Bhuchar
Title of Screenplay or Radio Script[3] Year Authorship Company
Midnight Feast 2004 Sudha Bhuchar Tamasha Theatre Company
Girlies 1997 Sudha Bhuchar and Shaheen Khan BBC Radio 4
The House Across the Street Unknown Sudha Bhuchar and Shaheen Khan Unknown

Performance Experience[2][3]Edit

Play Year Company
Women of the Dust 1992 Tamasha Theatre Company
A Shaft of Sunlight 1994 Tamasha Theatre Company
A Yearning 1995 Tamasha Theatre Company
A Fine Balance 2006, 2007 Tamasha Theatre Company
Sweet Cider 2008 Tamasha Theatre Company
Television Show Date Role
EastEnders 1993-1994, 1996 Meena McKenzie
Coronation Street 2016 Sonia Rahman

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Who's Who in British Theatre: Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith". the Guardian. 6 July 2002. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Company, Tamasha Theatre. "Past Productions - Tamasha Theatre Company". www.tamasha.org.uk. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Sudha Bhuchar - Literature". literature.britishcouncil.org. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Home". Bhuchar Boulevard. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Artistic director with 25 years' experience 'treated like a beginner'". Asian Culture Vulture. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Child of the Divide: Resource pack" (PDF). Bhuchar Boulevard. p. 5. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  7. ^ a b Company, Tamasha Theatre. "History - Tamasha Theatre Company". www.tamasha.org.uk. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  8. ^ "If you want it done properly..." the Guardian. 14 July 1999. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Tamasha Theatre | A Day In The Life | Sudha Bhuchar & Fin Kennedy". www.londoncalling.com. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Golden Hearts". Rich Mix. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Award-winning writer joins Coronation Street cast". Coronation Street Blog. 16 August 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  12. ^ Jaggi, Maya (14 July 1999). "If you want it done properly ..." The Guardian. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  13. ^ "Sudha Bhuchar chooses the life of Zohra Sehgal: Great Lives, Series 39 Episode 4 of 9". Great Lives. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 15 January 2017.

External linksEdit