The story of India’s first recording artist
India, Oct 1902. Fred Gainsberg is travelling across the country capturing the exotic sounds of the East on his miraculous new machine, the Gramophone. He hopes to record the beautiful voice of Gauhar Jaan, a young courtesan famed not only for her musical prowess, but her particular demands. Meanwhile, invited to play at a royal coronation, Gauhar’s requests see the Maharaja pull a trick that leaves her refusing to perform. Unhappy being a puppet of the court, Gauhar embraces the new recording technology that other artists have feared and becomes India’s very first recording artist.
Gauhar Jaan – The Datia Incident is a multilingual play fused with live music and dance that celebrates the early 20th century musical revolution, and the remarkable story of a talented musician who only ever craved control over her own fate.
An exhibition will run in our café space throughout the production based on the early recording industry, the life of Gauhar Jaan and the role of women and courtesans in India at the beginning of the 20th Century. For more info CLICK HERE
Presented by Mukul and Ghetto Tigers
Written by Tarun Jasani
Directed by Mukul Ahmed
Design – Sophie Jump
Lighting – Paul Micah
Choreography – Arunima Kumar
Music, Sound design and Videography – Tarun Jasani
Asst. Designer – Cecilia Calf
Stage Manager – Meera Sengupta
Sound operator- Upasana Kadam
Publicity – Diana Whitehead
Produced by Buffy Sharpe
Sheetal Kapoor – Gauhar Jaan
Harmage Singh Kalirai – Maharaja
Jordan Kemp – Fred Gaisberg
Devesh Kishore – Bakshi Saheb
Jas Steven Singh – Parthasarathy Bandyopadhyay and Passenger
We thank Arts Council England for their generous support.