Zindabad is a compelling and evocative drama set in the Punjab during August 1947, a time of seismic historic change. It is acclaimed playwright David Conville’s latest work, directed by Richard Digby Day.
It is the story of Harry Lesseps, a man of mixed blood, French and Indian, Director of the famous archaeological site Harappa and his passionate affair with Sally Lawrence, the wife of an English farmer who both face desperate decisions about their future simultaneously with the gigantic political drama of the Partition of British India triggering chaos, bloodletting and two million deaths. It was always going to be dangerous for a person of the wrong religion to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Harry and Sally, in this world suddenly plunged into racial disharmony, battle frantically to secure the safety of their staff, colleagues and family and take a high risk of dangerous and fast moving action to solve their terrifying situation.
David Conville is a remarkable man of theatre and a many sided one: actor, producer and playwright. He started his career in repertory. Acting with John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier, gave him the confidence to form The New Shakespeare Company in Regent’s Park in the sixties, presenting over 100 productions, directing many himself. He starred for seven years in ITV’s Surgical Spirit and appeared in the films The Fourth Protocol and Clockwise. His many plays include Obituaries which was subsequently BBC One’s Play of the Week and was voted in The Daily Telegraph the Best TV Play of the Year.
“The whiff of authenticity is unmistakable: the political backdrop; the rigorous strata of military and colonial service; the potency of the love affair” HUGH BONNEVILLE
“David Conville writes what he knows, the British in India watching like endangered bystanders as division comes to the country they recently ruled. His play skilfully pitches the frailty of a love affair against this tumultuous event” MICHAEL BLAKEMORE
“It is a great combination of all the best ingredients – history, adventure and romance” SIMON WILLIAMS
By David Conville
Directed by Richard Digby Day
Cast includes Frank Barrie, Justin Butcher, Seelan Gunaseelan, Rebecca Johnson, Ranjit Krishnamma, Linda Thorson (lindathorson.com), Andrew Wincott, Antony Zaki
Designed by Tim Reed
Lighting by Graham Large