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Kalagora

‘Kalagora’ comprises of two independent works: a book of poetry developed over the course of eight years and a one-man play that was written and developed since autumn 2010.

The Play

From the street surrealism of Mumbai, ‘city of motion’, to London’s East End via Manhattan on Millennium night. Kalagora, the global wanderer, collides with a midget tobacconist, paranoid immigration officers and cross-dressing hedonists, observing the uncanny and grotesque at the start of the 21st century.

“We’ve overstayed our welcome. We’re illegal. We’ve worked s**t jobs, invented social security numbers, scammed Homeland Security mercilessly.”

Fresh from an acclaimed run at Edinburgh Fringe 2011, Kalagora is an explosive coming-of-age journey across three continents, splicing theatre, poetry, and video. Written and performed by Siddhartha Bose, directed by Russell Bender (Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Bristol Old Vic, National Theatre), and featuring music by Bollywood composer Pankaj Awasthi, Kalagora exposes the shock of the megacity.

Reviews

“an extraordinary odyssey”

Julian Sands, BBC Radio 4

“Stunning in its simplicity and endeavour. A beautifully-worded monologue about the clash of civilisations, the changing sands of time and one man’s place in it all. Kalagora is a thoroughly original, ingenious one-man production embodying the art forms and human diversity of the contemporary age [...] It remains the most mesmerising play I have had the pleasure of seeing”

★★★★★ Broadway Baby

“A surreal one-man show [...] like a mash-up of Allen Ginsberg and Salvador Dali”

★★★★ Three Weeks

“A one-man tour–de-force. Siddharta Bose takes us on a journey over time between the great cities of Mumbai, London and New York. Many situations and characters are brought to life by this very dynamic performer [...] a very intense and energising hour, and the way it teemed with energy and images made me think of Salman Rushdie’s work”

Scots Gay

“Kalagora is a hymn to cities, to their richness, their colour, their noise, sprawl and energy, and to the process of cultural merging, mixing and melting that categorises the urban experience [...] Bose’s show captures that heady urban experience, the taxi drivers and the rough sleepers, the shifting skies and the glitter of glass. [...] His voice is resonant and versatile, switching between accents with ease; he’s also an engaging performer, confident and capable of conveying subtle shifts in emotion.”

Natasha Tripney, Exeunt

“One of the stand-out spoken word shows of last year’s Edinburgh Fringe”

Bel Cameron, Exuent

“Performed with great energy and attack [...] this global language is Bose’s gift to the stage. Just as Shakespeare coined new words borrowed from other languages and made the stage a Pentecostal Tower of Babel so Bose has Kalagora speak a language at once as English as any Oxford Don’s, and as foreign as Bengali or Hindi might be to the same Oxford Don”

John O’ Donoghue, Decibel Performing Arts Showcase Review

” [...] the writing is superb, yet the play’s true skill lies in Bose’s deliverance of this script. As a performer, Bose incorporates an array of voices and physical movements to depict the multiple personas he meets upon his journey [...] While this is a one-man performance, his ability to transform into a range of characters truly heightens the authentic and multi-dimensional nature of this play.”

Isabelle Koy-Dibly, Plays to See

“Ingenious and unforgettable”

Rashbre Central–blog

“It is perhaps too easy to compare elements of Kalagora to Dante’s Divine Comedy or William Blake’s infernal London, or even Joyce’s Ulysses, but those are the works that this brought to my mind. Kalagora would be a decent show if it just stuck to that, so what made this dazzling performance shine was Bose’s energy – from melancholy to rage; hope to despair – Bose and his riotous trip across the globe brought all the power of a full-cast, 3 hour play and bundled it into a one hour, one-man (and one director) package that resonated far beyond the confines of its explosive performance.”

Jake Campbell, Outline to a Complicated Dream, blog

“[Siddhartha Bose's] acrobatic presence on stage complements the gutteral and cacophonic tones of his poetry suggesting a muscular relationship with his urban environs [...] Kalagora is a fascinating defiance against dehumanisation and eradication of community and individuality in the globalisation of urban space [...] Siddartha Bose’s performance is bold and perpetually charged, captivating the audience throughout”

Emma Hayward, Blogger– Urban Material

“The Teesside scene is inspired and buzzing after Siddhartha Bose’s awesome performance [...] truly electrifying. If you get a chance to see his show Kalagora take it – this is a contemporary voice that will resonate down the years.”

Andy Willoughby, The Electric Kool Aid Cabaret / Senior Lecturer, Teeside University

Credits

Writer: Siddhartha Bose
Performer: Siddhartha Bose
Director: Russell Bender
Music: Pankaj Awasthi
Film: Maria Tzika & Siddhartha Bose
Video design: Maria Tzika
Associate Director: Joy Mills
Lighting design: McDeath
Sound design: Ed Lewis
Costume design: Mila Sanders
Producer: Penned in the Margins

Partners

Rich Mix
Funded by Arts Council England

Tour Dates (2010-12)

Oct 2010 Rich Mix London
Oct 2010 Durham Book Festival
Nov 2010 Berlin Poetry Hearings
Nov 2010 Salisbury Arts Centre
Jan 2011 Warwick Arts Centre
Jan 2011 Liverpool Bluecoat
Aug 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe (25 shows)
Sep 2011 Manchester, Decibel Performing Arts Showcase
Nov 2011 London, Rosemary Branch Theatre
Dec 2011 Queen Mary University of London
March 2012 Queen Mary University of London
March 2012, London Camden Peoples’ Theatre
May Gateshead Festival of Belonging
June 2012 Nottingham Playhouse






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