Premier at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre November 11, 1999.
As THE SQUARE CIRCLE had begun life as an original screenplay,
and was made into a film, the challenge then lay in reducing the
vast Indian landscape to fit the stage and to trim away some of
my original characters from the film. However, I have retained
the original intent and theme of that screenplay –what do we mean
by ‘man’ and ‘woman’. When we look in the mirror whom do we see.
A man? A woman? We see only what we want ourselves and others
to see. Men and women are complex creations, and we have both
the man and the woman within ourselves, suppressing one or the
other. Today, as society has become more tolerant, men and women
are emerging from their straitjacketed closets, as they become
freer to reveal their true sexual nature and identities. One one
level, THE SQUARE CIRCLE explores the contradictions within us
and our real identities which lie covered by layers of convention.
At the same time, the play is a love story between a man (?) and
a woman (?) who meet by chance.
It was also by chance that the original idea for the story was
inspired by an unknown village girl herding goats along a long
and lonely stretch of a road I was driving along. That’s why this
is also a road story, an adventure along the fascinating Indian
landscape where we see magic and tragedy occur daily, meet charlatans
and saints and travelling entertainers, and are finally seduced
by the country called India.
Procurers kidnap a village girl, SITA, from her village on the
eve of her wedding. She manages to escape them, then finds herself
lost. She meets a cross-dressing entertainer, LAKSHMAN/LAKSHMI,
who won't help her to return home but instead gives her money.
But on the lonely road, she's beaten up and raped, and he finds
her after over hearing the man boasting. He nurses her to health,
and in order to now make the journey safely, dresses her in man's
clothes. They make the journey to her village, her as the man,
him as the woman.
Sita - Parminder Nagra
Lakshman/Lakshmi - Rahul Bose
Mother/Parvati - Vinny Dhillon
Ganesh/Man/Vikrant - Nitin Ganatra
Devaka/Mala - Harvey Virdi.