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?"
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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