Alchemy festival will bring South Asian magic to theatre

By Antony Clay | 17/05/2017

Alchemy festival will bring South Asian magic to theatre

THE UK’S largest festival of South Asian culture —  Alchemy — is coming to South Yorkshire and promises music, good food — and even sari tying!

The Cast Theatre in Doncaster will host a series of events in partnership with the capital’s Southbank Centre.

They will take place in the theatre and on Sir Nigel Gresley Square outside where there will be live music and DJs, delicious food stalls, creative workshops and free outdoor events.

From Wednesday, May 31, to Friday, June 2, Bring on the Bollywood will offer up an extravaganza of music, dance and colourful costumes when it is performed at the theatre.

For people wanting to find out more there will be a chance to meet with the cast and a sari-tying workshop, both on June 2.

On Saturday, June 3, a whole host of activities will take place including a workshop offering the chance to make a mosaic, a masterclass in Aagrah Cookery by Mohammed Aslam MBE, and a comedy performance by Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Bilal Zafar called Cakes.

Also on that day, Target Theatre Company will perform Made about four Bangladeshi women living in the slums of Dhaka.

Beats Without Boundaries will provide an electrifying night of rap and hip hop, featuring UK premieres and transcontinental collaborations by artists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and the UK.

Amongst these are Afghanistan’s 143BandMusic, MC and activist Black Zang from Bangladesh, leading Indian rappers Naezy and Dee MC, and Sri Lankan singer and songwriter Ashanthi de Alwis.

Performing live will be North London rapper Awate, MC and actress Paigey Cakey, singer and rapper Raxstar, producer Sunit Music and DJ Turkish Dcypha.

Mother Tongues from Farther Lands will offer monologues telling the stories of South Asian women across the UK and will feature Citizen Khan actor Shobu Kapoor and Shyama Perera.

Also on June 3 are Sacred Sounds: Sikh Music Traditions and the First World War, an opportunity for young people to read their own work called Open Mic Mehfil, and a show for one to five year olds called Bhangra Tots.

Cast director Deborah Rees said: “We are delighted that Alchemy is returning to Cast and Doncaster, sharing a diverse programme of world class theatre and music for everyone to enjoy.

“This year’s Alchemy Doncaster is bigger than ever before and I invite everyone in the town to join us for this spectacular and joyful celebration of South Asian arts and culture.”

For full details of the times and prices of individual events during Alchemy, visit or call the box office on 01302 303959.

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