Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: A Passage To India

Photo: Craig O'Regan

For those of you who have never seen the architectural treasure that is the repurposed 1868 church now operating as the 76-year-old Genesian Theatre – for 65 years at 420 Kent Street – now is the time to take the opportunity.

Martin Sherman has adapted for the stage E.M. Forster’s classic novel set in early 20th century British Raj, and has captured the essence of class and racial confusions, sometimes very funny, at others excruciatingly awkward misunderstandings.

Englishwoman Adela Quested (Christiane New) travels to India to meet her intended fiancé, local Chandrapoormagistrate Ronny Heaslop (Simon Lee) and, when there, to discover the “real” India for herself.

Dr Aziz Ahmed (Atharv Kolhatkar), a Muslim physician offers to take the group, including Adela and Heaslop’smother Mrs Moore (Susan Jordan), on a tour of the Marabar Caves, which produce violent reactions in both Mrs Moore and in Adela.

The expedition results in a disastrous failure.

Forster’s novel naturally conveys so much more than what could possibly be portrayed in 90 minutes on the stage, but Sherman has done a creditable job of portraying the cultural misunderstandings between the stuffy British and the excitable Indians.

Read the book first, is my advice! It’s a memorable novel.

Until Jun 19, Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent St, Sydney. $30-$35+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.genesiantheatre.com.au

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