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Theatre -> Curry Tales by Rani Moorthy

UK TOUR: 4 - 26 FEBRUARY 2005
Written and performed by Rani Moorthy
Directed by Linda Marlowe. Designer - Rachana Jadhav. Video - Arthur Smith. Lighting Designer - Jake Taylor. Music - Jaydev Mistry.

Macho man madras … or is your karma more korma? Find out in this delicious new one-woman show from Rani Moorthy.

By turns hilarious and moving, Curry Tales explores how this spice filled dish is integral to South Asian culture and its relationship to the world. Feeding the audience with food for thought, curry is used to uncover character and personality, stories and secrets, and reflect the pleasurable connotations of giving nourishment and love. Subverting western views, curry is seen as more than a Friday night phenomena. A source of identity and power for the South Asian cook who can captivate the taste buds of her family and friends, manipulating emotions as she asks, "Who deserves my curry?"

Ace cook Rani employs her culinary skills live on stage, encouraging audiences to eat what she cooks. Razor-sharp observation combines with acute characterisation in a heady mix of flavours to please the most discerning palate. Taking inspiration from the Kutthu theatre style of South India (which breaks conventions of space and the actor-audience divide) Rani actively engages the audience in the production via requests to peel, stir, taste and to even give recipe suggestions. Curry Tales also uses video projection filmed in India, Malaysia and the UK, and close-up live feed cameras let the audience in on what's cooking away.


Spicy stories and masala mania. In a world of chopping and tasting, bubbling pots hold surprising secrets and unexpected dreams. Madras or Korma? Choose, and reveal more than you know…

Intriguing cooks laugh, chat and cry as the audience tastes. From vengeful Trinidadian goat curry to life-saving Malaysian Laksa, curry really is the sauce of life. Behind every curry there is a story, and in every cook is a character…

Socialite Mrs Melwani has the most sought after dinner table in Delhi. The Kashmiri chillies that her cross-dressing manservant puts in the curry unleash passions and gossip…

A young British Asian, Kalvinder, is making curried eggs for her white in-laws. She is a vegan. They'll think it's a disease. In the cooking, reality and illusion merge as she imagines her own eggs, her fears of infertility but also the possibility and impossibility of conception…

An Indian woman brought up in Mao's China, Mrs Wong is tied to the stove by her eldest son. Now bringing up her children in multiracial Malaysia, she laments to the Kitchen God, her only companion. In a city torn by race riots, will her multinational Laksa curry save her…?

Rosemary Kempadoo is Trinidadian, Tamil and very bad. The heat of the tempering spices conjures up the fire of an old relationship. A hellish goat curry cooked by a woman scorned is literally food to die for…

Slum dweller Kali has to beg for the ingredients that go into her curry pot. Begging, like the cooking of curry, has its own dignity…

… All presided over by Anapurna, the Goddess of Food. Multi-armed and multi-tasking, blessing the good, killing demons and cooking the first ever curry. With this magic potion she will seduce the Lord of the Universe…or someone in the audience!


Fri 4 Feb
Waterside Arts Centre
Tickets: £10
Box Office:
0161 912 5616
Tue 8 – Sat 12 Feb 7:45pm
12 Feb 2:45pm
The Door
Brimingham Repertory Theatre
Tickets: £9.75 (£7/£4.50)
Box Office:
0121 236 4455
Thu17 Feb
Stanwix Arts Theatre
Tickets: £7.50 (£5)
Box Office:
01228 534664
Fri 18 Feb
Darwen Library Theatre
Tickets: £8 (£6)
Box Office:
01254 706006
Sat 19 Feb
Unity Theatre
Tickets: £8 (£6)
Box Office:
0151 709 4988
Wed 23 Feb
Loughborough Town Hall
Tickets: £9 (£7)
Box Office:
01509 231914
Thu 24 Feb
Arena Theatre
Tickets: £8 (£6)
Box Office:
01902 321321
Fri 25 & Sat 26 Feb 7:45pm
Chester Gateway
Tickets: £10 (£8)
Box Office:
01244 240392
2 Mar
The Old Town Hall
Hemel Hempstead
Box Office:
01442 228 091
3 Mar
North Finchley, london N12
Box Office:
020 8369 5454
10 - 12 Mar
Croydon Clocktower
Box Office:
020 8253 1030
18 Mar
Studio Theatre
London W2
Box Office:
020 7641 8424
24 Mar
The Theatre
Chipping Norton
Box Office:
01608 642 350


Rasa is based in Manchester, UK. It was formed in 1998 by writer/performer Rani Moorthy, joined by producer Ed Higginson and video director Arthur Smith. The company develops and produces new narrative drama that explores complex cultural, social and political issues and shows that every personal story, cultural ritual or unfamiliar history has a universal resonance.

Rasa is a noun used in three different Asian languages. Each has a slightly different meaning. It means emotion in Sanskrit, essence in Tamil and taste or feeling in Malay. Each of these languages reflects the cultural background of Rani Moorthy.

Indian theatre more specifically sees Rasa as the rapture between artist and audience. As an art it looks to evoke nine rasas (emotions) within its audience: the comic, the pitiful, the erotic, the furious, the heroic, the terrible, the marvellous, the odious and the serene.


Rani Moorthy was born in Kuala Lumpur. Following the bloody Malaysian race riots of 1969 her family attempted to move to Singapore. Making it only as far as the border town, Rani found herself carrying a passport on her daily journey to be educated in Singapore. Eventually moving across the border she became a star of stage and screen and hosted her own hit TV comedy The Ra Ra Show.

Rani moved to the UK in 1996. She has since appeared in A&E (Granada), Coronation Street (Granada), Dead Meat (C4) and Romeo and Juliet (Birmingham Stage Company). As well as writing all of Rasa's productions she has also written for Doctors (BBC1), and is a popular host of Radio 2 Pause For Thought and guest presenter on BBC1 Heaven and Earth.


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