A thrilling new play by Satinder Chohan will make its world premiere at the Belgrade Theatre in 2017, exploring the global and personal implications of India’s surrogacy industry. Running from Sat 24 Jan to Sat 4 Feb, Made in India is a captivating drama about motherhood and blood ties between women and nations, produced by the Belgrade Theatre and Tamasha in association with Pilot Theatre.
In a surrogacy clinic in Gujarat, three women meet. It’s Londoner Eva’s last chance for motherhood. For village girl Aditi, dairy worker and single mother, surrogacy is a lifeline out of poverty – a chance to giver her own daughters a better chance in life. For clinic owner and businesswoman Dr Gupta, it’s all just another transaction. But with the backdrop of profound global forces, can it possibly remain that simple?
India has been regarded as the world’s ‘surrogacy hub’, one of a handful of countries legally offering commercial surrogacy to parents internationally, although the industry was not fully regulated. The industry was estimated to be worth over £1.5million, with surrogates themselves stated as being able to earn up to £10000. During 2016, a change to the law was drafted so that surrogacy would become legal only to heterosexual Indian couples married for five years.
Playwright Satinder Chohan said, “I felt compelled to write a play with surrogacy at its heart as it is such a controversial subject loaded with conflicting emotion, culture and politics. I felt connected to the subject as, with my Indian village roots, the Indian women acting as surrogates that I had read about in news stories could be any number of my female relatives or indeed myself if my parents had taken a different path in life. At the same time, I wanted to explore the wider global issue of which surrogacy is a part – the commodification of everything’ in a time when morals are easily sacrificed for financial markets and how we, as privileged Westerners and consumers rely on worker all over the world to provide the material stuff of our lives.”
The idea for Made in India scooped writer Satinder Chohan the 2013 Adopt-a-Playwright award – an opportunity for which she was nominated by Tamasha. Satinder first began working with Tamasha through their Developing Artists New Writing Programme and has since worked alongside their Artistic Director Fin Kennedy to develop early drafts of the play. She will now be teaming up with Director Katie Posner and Trainee Assistant Director Corey Campbell to stage this first ever production.
The all-female cast will be led by stage and screen actress Gina Isaac, in the role of aspiring mother Eva, whose previous credits include EastEnders (BBC) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at the National Theatre as well as numerous productions for the Mercury Theatre, Colchester. Playing the young surrogate mother, Aditi, is Ulrika Krishnamurti who has previously performed in Commencing at the Tristan Bates Theatre and Twelve for Kali Theatre. Completing the cast as the business-like Dr Gupta is Syreeta Kumar whose most recent theatre credits include Fall of the Kingdom, Rise of the Foot Soldier and Always Orange, both for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Made in India runs in the Belgrade’s B2 auditorium from Tues 24 Jan to Sat 4 Feb. Tickets are priced from £10.50 and are available to book now by calling the Belgrade Theatre Box Office team on 024 7655 3055 or by visiting www.belgrade.co.uk.