Photography by Rosaline Shahnavaz
Design by Émilie Chen
Chasing Hares |Young Vic Theatre
Set between 2000s Kolkata and contemporary Leicester, Chasing Hares tells the story of one family's resistance against the inhumanity of machine capitalism. The Khub Bhalo garment factory is on lockdown, leaving Prab unemployed. He finds a way to win favour with Devesh, the boss' son by writing for his Bengali folk theatre troupe, but soon finds being Devesh’s right hand man is loaded with moral compromise. Prab is caught between his family’s modest hopes for a better life and his long-repressed desire for radical change. Is imagining a better future as hard as enacting one?
Directed by Milli Bhatia (Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner) and starring Ifram Shamji, Ayesha Darker, Zainab Hasan, Scott Karim and Saroja-Lily Ratnavel
Chasing Hares runs at The Young Vic from 16th July to 13th August
Two Billion Beats |Orange Tree Theatre
★★★★ “Moving portrayal of sisterly love…I’d defy anyone to remain unmoved” The Guardian
★★★★ “Sonali Bhattacharyya has struck gold with this incredibly important play” Theatre Weekly
★★★★ “This timely and thoughtful new play from Sonali Bhattacharyya…compellingly shows that the stakes can be high when people – especially women – from a diaspora community raise their voices” WhatsOnStage
★★★★ “Confidently drawn two-hander that probes injustices, both domestic and colossal” The Stage
Photo by Alex Brenner
Seventeen-year-old Asha is an empathetic rebel, inspired by historical revolutionaries and iconoclasts Sylvia Pankhurst and B R Ambedkar. She’s unafraid of pointing out the hypocrisy around her but less sure how to actually dismantle it.
Meanwhile, her younger sister, Bettina, wide-eyed and naïve, is just trying to get through the school day without getting her pocket money nicked. When Bettina turns to her for help, Asha starts to ask what standing up for her political beliefs really looks like.
Two Billion Beats returns to
The Orange Tree Theatre
in Jan/Feb 2023!
2066 |Almeida Participation
'2066' imagines a future without universal healthcare and the impossible decisions this leaves a mother and her daughter. Directed by Dani Parr, with Sophie Melville as Eve and Sara Goddard as Kara.
Photo by Peter Schiazza
Slummers |Cardboard Citizens
An immersive multi-story speculation on need, greed and good intentions, HOME TRUTHS is revealed through the world premieres of nine short plays by some of the UK’s most exciting playwrights: Sonali Bhattacharyya, Lin Coghlan, EV Crowe, Anders Lustgarten, Nessah Muthy, Chris O’Connell, Stef Smith, David Watson and Heathcote Williams with Sarah Woods.
The Invisible Boy |Kiln Theatre
Written for a young company in Wembley Park as part of Kiln Theatre's 'Mapping Brent' festival, The Invisible Boy is a funny, spooky look at how complicated things can get when you’re a teenage boy.
Old Vic 12 |Old Vic Theatre
I was really excited to be selected from over 1300 applicants as one of three playwrights for the inaugural Old Vic 12, the programme for developing theatre artists, introduced by Matthew Warchus, artistic director of the Old Vic. This incredible opportunity involved the chance to collaborate with the rest of the Old Vic 12 on a new commission, my play Five Years, which received a rehearsed reading at the Criterion, West End.
Photograph: Amit and Naroop
Photograph: Amit and Naroop
These Four Streets |Birmingham Rep
These Four Streets is a collaboration between six young female writers, Naylah Ahmed, Sonali Bhattacharyya, Jennifer Farmer, Lorna French, Amber Lone and Cheryl Akila Payne. Inspired by meetings and interviews with local people who were connected to or affected by the Lozells riots of 2005, the play explores the power of rumour and what it feels like to live in a place that everybody else has given up on. It is the story of a divided community and of the people brave enough to reach across that divide.
Photograph: David Sillitoe
'Here are writers attempting to unite and mend a community.'
- The Independent
'...the 80 minutes are over too soon.'
- The Times
Photograph: Pentabus Theatre
White Open Spaces |Pentabus Theatre
Ignited by Trevor Phillips’ (Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality) suggestion that the countryside is guilty of a ‘passive apartheid', seven writers explore our attitudes towards race, environment and identity. Uncovering the complex layers of fear and misconception that cause prejudice, and also the similarities and shared beliefs that can bond, this is a heart-rending, moving and provocative show from award winning company Pentabus.
‘Excellent performances and some spellbinding writing coincide in a tightly directed and provocative piece of theatre.’
'In the funniest of the monologues, Sonali Bhattacharyya's "Two Men in the Fog", Saraj Chaudhry plays a neurotic Asian Londoner encountering a shotgun-toting farmer in a foggy field. He freezes, terrified, "trying not to cry" - only for the farmer to guide him home, dourly comforting him over his recent break-up with his wife.'
- The New Statesman