Belgrade Theatre hosts Coventry’s first Sampad Chai & Chat event

Playwright Lakshnie Hettihewa-Young leads the latest in Sampad Arts’ popular discussion series

Emerging playwright Lakshnie Hettihewa-Young is set to lead Coventry’s first ever Chai and Chat session when South Asian arts organisation Sampad bring their popular discussion programme to the Belgrade Theatre next month.

Taking place at 3pm on Saturday 9 November, the free afternoon event offers an opportunity to network with likeminded creatives, while learning more about Lakshnie’s career so far and her experience of breaking into the theatre industry.

After starting her creative journey as part of Kali Theatre’s Discovery Programme in 2018, the writer, podcaster and BACP registered psychotherapist went on to present her first play, Amma’s Girls, at Birmingham REP earlier this year. A second piece, The Long Way Home, was also recently selected for Tamasha Theatre’s Over To You, a scratch night showcasing bold new writing.

Set up to help unite and shine a light on the work of British South Asian women working in the West Midlands, Sampad’s Chai and Chat events focus on informal yet inspiring conversation with creatives, all served up with a hot cup of chai. Previous events have taken place in venues across Birmingham and Wolverhampton, and it’s hoped that this will be the first of many to take place in Coventry.

Alongside the event, the Belgrade will also be opening a new exhibition by two British South Asian artists, with a free, infomal launch taking place at 2pm. Titled Colours of Life, the exhibition brings together work by Coventry-based artist Gurdip Junjuha and Kitty Kaur.

Gurdip Junjuha is an expressive abstract artist, using art to release emotion and deal with anxiety and depression. She uses art to express how she feels and as a form of therapy. Having studied Art and Design at college, Gurdip has been creating art for the last 30 years. After putting her artwork on hold for a time after getting married and having a child, she has recently rekindled her passion for visual arts, and is delighted to be exhibiting at the Belgrade Theatre.

Kitty Kaur is an autistic artist who has been working in and around Coventry for around 10 years. “I am passionate about art and creating,” she said. “When I get an idea, I just get into it and get lost in my own world. I want to work in the community to inspire others to be creative.”

Colours of Life is free to view at the Belgrade Theatre from 2pm on Saturday 9 November, until the end of the month. Simply drop in any time during normal opening hours.

Chai and Chat featuring Lakshnie Hettihewa-Young takes place at 3pm on Saturday 9 November. Tickets are free but place are limited, so advance booking is recommended.

For details and to reserve your ticket, visit, or call the box office on 024 7655 3055.

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