Tara Arts Theatre Company

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Steve Barfield (University of Human Development, Suleymanyia, Iraqi Kurdistan)
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Tara Arts, led by founder and artistic director Jatinder Verma, are the celebrated pioneers of South Asian theatre in Britain. South Asian immigrants founded Tara Arts in 1977, as a response to the racist murder of Gurdeep Singh, during a riot in Southall in 1976. At the time, there were no British South Asian theatre groups, despite India’s ancient dramatic traditions. Verma said: “Our impetus [at the time] was to find a voice.”

Tara’s initial work was often naturalistic, concerned with raising the community awareness of racism and taking a critical stance toward racism in British society. Their emphasis on touring also developed early, and has made them one of the most travelled of all small British theatre companies. Their initial decision to use English was to reach out to the

934 words

Citation: Barfield, Steve. "Tara Arts Theatre Company". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 September 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1510, accessed 15 June 2024.]

1510 Tara Arts Theatre Company 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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