Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti is an inexhaustible writer of plays, TV, film and radio. She broke box office records at Soho Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 2001 with her debut play Behsharam (Shameless). She regularly writes for The Archers radio series, and is currently writing a new play for the National Theatre.
In 2005 Bhatti won the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (worth $10,000), which is given to the best English language play written by a woman. She won this award for her highly controversial play Behzti (Dishonour) that depicted rape in a Sikh temple. It was supposed to premiere at Birmingham Rep, but was cancelled when violent Sihk protests broke out. 'Shame on Sikh playwright for her corrupt imagination' was just one of the banners held outside the theatre. A Sikh elder, although proud that Bhatti’s name was on the play’s poster, urged her to set the action in a community centre instead of a Sikh temple. She respectfully declined, and continued to make a stand for her artistic integrity.
Bhatti had death threats that forced her to go into hiding. She was assigned two police officers, CCTV cameras outside her flat and security railings over her windows. Throughout this struggle, she was determined to fight for her freedom of expression, and carried on writing and engaging in public discourse around freedom of speech in art.
Interestingly, her new Royal Court show A Kind of People has not yet been assigned a director. We look forward to the announcement on who will direct this evocative and no doubt provocative piece of social realism.
General booking for A Kind of People at the Royal Court Theatre is now open.
|What||A Kind of People, Royal Court Theatre|
|Where||Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Sloane Square (underground)|
05 Dec 19 – 18 Jan 20, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Price||£12 – £95|
|Website||Click here for booking and more information|