Activist company

The Waves – Tamasha Theater Company and Holy Mountain

Screenwriters: Erinn Dhesi, Corinne Walker, Danielle Fahiya, Stefanie Reynolds and Kamala Santos

Directors: Gitika Buttoo, Alix Harris, Catherine Robinson and Niloo-Far Khan

Podcast Drama Series Waves is the latest collection from the Tamasha Theater Company using five short commissioned plays to explore the impact of Britain’s colonial history. The plays, all written and directed by female creators and set across the UK, use different lenses to reflect on contemporary identities, prejudices and the disconnect between past and present.

Some of them start with a humorous concept like Erinn Dhesi’s queens in which a statue of Queen Victoria at Leamington Spa comes to life, a metaphysical experience that transports a grandmother and granddaughter back in time to relive the family’s arrival in the UK and the hardships the grandmother mother lived as a young woman in an arranged marriage trying to get by. As the story trails off slightly towards the conclusion, queens sets the tone for intergenerational explorations of trauma and the struggle for acceptance.

We see no color by Danielle Fahiya also begins with humour, placing twins Aisha and Nia in a Cardiff beauty pageant who find their different skin tones affect their progress. Asking questions about racism disguised as liberality, this well-acted play directed by Catherine Robinson uses a local radio station, interviews with pageant organizers who claim to see no color – a theme that resonates through the stories here – and conversations between the sisters considering the destructive impact on their relationship, the creation of individual identity and systemic biases.

Two plays use a new home in Bristol and Manchester respectively to reflect more deeply on former residents and colonial influences. by Corinne Walker Grosvenor Road directed by Alix Harris contrasts a modern London couple excited about designing a flat in Bristol, utterly disinterested in estate agent Elliot’s attempts to explain their Caribbean-British heritage, with cuts to a young couple from the 60s whose marital struggles are affected by the prejudices they face and whether activism and protest is the right approach to gaining rights.

Similarly, Stefanie Reynolds uses a converted former cotton mill in Manchester to examine how modern generations view the wider use and associations of these buildings. the Baby Mom of the title finds his black identity charged by encounters with a cleaner who argues that the past is the past and must be forgotten. Reynolds takes its protagonist Renee on a journey that leaves her reassessing her life and the dismissals of white husband James who disregards both Renee’s legacy and that of the cotton mill.

Kamala Santos Glory Glory: A History of Edinburgh of Kamala Santos, also connects contemporary racism to a history of bigotry dating back to World War II. At a soccer game, a 16-year-old meets her grandfather Victor for the first time and hears about the arrival of loggers from Belize in 1942 and tries to sue the local women who fraternized with them. . With a policy of repatriating those deemed “unfit” for British identity, Santos’ story has strong political resonance with the events of recent weeks.

Together, these pieces reveal diverse contemporary responses to Britain’s colonial history and the multiple communities it represents. From a more innocuous misunderstanding revealed by the granddaughter of queens to the total refusal to recognize the relevance of the past in Grosvenor Road and Baby Momas well as the pointed statements of We see no color and Glory Glory: A History of Edinburgh, Waves is a reminder of the struggle of the pioneer generations and, by establishing direct links between grandchildren and their grandparents, how they inform the present.

Available here