Last Dance at Dum Dum

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DOI: 10.5040/9781784601812.00000005
Acts: 2. Roles: Male (4) , Female (4) , Neutral (0)

Ayub Khan Din’s play Last Dance at Dum Dum is a comedy about the last remaining members of a dwindling community of Anglo-Indians living in Calcutta in the 1980s. It was first performed on 14 July 1999 at the New Ambassadors Theatre in the West End in a production by the Royal Court Theatre.

Calcutta, 1981. In a peeling colonial bungalow in the Dum Dum district of Calcutta live the last, ageing members of an Anglo-Indian community – a gang of eccentrics attempting to come to terms with their pasts and their fears for the future. Violet is obsessed with all things British, Daphne has a weakness for French records, Elliot has a questionable dress sense and Muriel is prone to confrontational outbursts when anyone threatens their territory. For them, the imperial sun never set. More British than the British despite their mixed race, they cling determinedly to their supposed superiority over the rest of the population. But beyond the jasmine-covered walls of Dum Dum, a rising tide of Hindu nationalism and militancy is creeping ever closer.

The Royal Court production at the New Ambassadors was directed by Stuart Burge and designed by Tim Hately with a cast including Sheila Burrell, Madhur Jaffrey, Diana Fairfax, Madhav Sharma, Rashid Karapiet, Avril Elgar, Paul Bazely and Nicholas Le Prevost.

From Last Dance at Dum Dum

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Nick Hern Books

Ayub Khan Din

ISBN: 9781854594563

Series: NHB Modern Plays

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