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Complicite: A Disappearing Number
By Dal Chodha
The face of the British theatre audience is changing colour. With more Asian focused plays such as, 2002’s ‘Bombay Dreams’, which arguably opened the floodgates encouraging Asian theatre goers to go and watch mainstream theatre, to Ayub Khan-Din’s grittier ‘East is East’, to Pravesh Kumar’s humorous ‘The Deranged Marriage’ - more Brindians are sitting in the stalls.

As Lindesay Irvine of The Guardian comments, at the opening of Ayub Khan-Din's ‘Rafta, Rafta...’ at the National Theatre earlier this year, he was “surrounded by an audience made up - at my amateurish estimate - of around 60-70% Anglo-Asians.”

The latest work of world-renowned theatre company, Complicite will be presented at the Barbican, London this September via previews at the Warwick Arts Centre and three major European festivals. A visual treat combining creative talents from music, theatre and set design, ‘A Disappearing Number’ has something for everyone to think about and isn’t exclusively an “Asian play”, despite its musical score which comes from Nithin Sawhney, widely regarded as one of the most creative musical talents today.

Staged with Complicite's characteristic elegance and startling visual originality, ‘A Disappearing Number’ takes as its starting point one of the most mysterious and romantic mathematical collaborations of all time. It is a story about connections between ideas, cultures and times. In London a man attempts to unravel the secrets of his lover. In Bangalore a woman collapses on a train. In Cambridge in 1914 Englishman GH Hardy seeks to comprehend the ideas of the Indian prodigy Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Simultaneously a narrative and an investigation, ‘A Disappearing Number’ weaves a provocative theatrical pattern about our relentless compulsion to understand.

‘A Disappearing Number’ runs until 6th October 2007.

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