In 2022 Theatre of Debate joined with Indian artist Sushank Kumar as part of the British Council Delhi India-UK and Science Museum Group’s ‘Injecting Hope’ Exhibition.
The British Council’s India-UK Together project marks the 75th anniversary of India’s independence with a major arts and cultural and education programme to strengthen bilateral cultural relations.
In an artwork titled ‘The Lens’, a nine-foot sculpture created by Sushank Kumar, was surrounded by screens running three animated films telling the story of the Three Queens of Mysore, by playwright Sudha Bhuchar, animator Tony Pickering and produced by Artistic Director Nigel Townsend.
The exhibition opened in Delhi in November and over the next five years will tour to Nagpur (Aug 2023-Dec 2023), Mumbai (Feb 2024-Jul 2024), Bangalore (Sep 2024-Feb 2025) and Kolkata (Apr 2025-Sep 2025).
In addition to the British Council commission, Theatre of Debate have been awarded Arts Council Research and Development funding which is enabling us to develop and produce two new plays.
A 60-minute play ‘The Lady Gems of Mysore’ (working title) by Sudha Bhuchar to be performed by professional actors, for audiences aged 14 and above.
A synopsis for a 30-minute play ‘Stay Still’ (working title) by Claudia Fielding to be performed by young people, for audiences aged 14 and above.
Both the exhibition and the plays are inspired by the extraordinary story behind the 1805 portrait of Three Queens from Mysore – described as “one of the most important scientific pictures in the history of medicine in India”, showing three Indian queens receiving the smallpox vaccine to encourage participation in the world’s first vaccine programme.
The creation of the scripts by Sudha Bhuchar and Claudia Fielding kicked off with a generator workshop at Batley Girls’ School in West Yorkshire https://www.batleygirls.co.uk.