London: `Salaam India`, a new play presented by Theatre world, a Delhi based company, opened to a warm response from the audience at its UK premiere here.
The play, inspired by well known diplomat Pavan Varma`s book `Being Indian`, is led by a cast of four actors - Shena Gamat, Ashish Paliwal, Andrew Hoffland and Lushin Dubey, who is also the director.
The play features four inter-woven stories set in Delhi that explore what it is to be an Indian in a diverse country of over a billion people.
The actors played in an ensemble manner and the script by Nicholas Kharkongor uses humour and polemic to create sixteen characters, who run the whole gamut of Indians ranging from poor labourers to middle class urbanites, to politicians.
The actors a range of Indian accents from a Gujarati businessman, South Indian politician, Bengali bureaucrat - that were greeted with much laughter and clapping from the audience.
The first of the stories deals with friendship and support among the lower class labourers, and this section was performed in Hindi as a way of retaining authenticity of the `voice` of the character.
The second story is about a Gujarati businessman married to a fitness freak Belarusian woman and about to have his building demolished despite appeals to the corrupt politicians.
The third one is about the ensuing wedding of an older-middle class girl whose family is beset with requests for `gifts` from the groom`s family.
The final one debates what is the Indian national dish? Is it `Tandoori chicken` or `Idli-sambhar`.