British Hindus welcome Edinburgh International Festival’s action on play ‘Hindu Times’

British Hindus welcome Edinburgh International Festival’s action on play ‘Hindu Times’
Courtesy: Lyceum Theatre/Edinburgh International Festival

A play undergoing rehearsed readings at the Edinburgh International Festival has been modified following objections raised by British Hindus, led by the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB).

In a letter addressed to Naina Penmen, Chair of Dundee Temple; Trupti Patel, President of HFB; and Puneet Dwivedi, Vice President – Scotland of HFB, the artistic directors associated with the staging of the play ‘Hindu Times’ have confirmed that the names of Hindu Gods and Goddesses have been removed following inputs and feedback from the community.

“Fantastic results of Dharmic power of mediation with the Edinburgh Festival team. All offending references to Shree Bhagvan Vishnu, Brahma and Devi Lakshmi ji removed,” HFB said.

The letter, signed by David Greig, Artistic Director of Lyceum Theatre; Fergus Linehan, Festival Director of the Edinburgh International Festival; and Andrew Panton, Artistic Director, Dundee Rep Theatre, acknowledges the strength of feeling over these references in the play.

It reads: “The author has considered whether parts of the play, and the way we’ve talked about it in the press, might have had unintended meanings that were causing religious offence.

“Following that consideration, the names of the Gods and Goddesses have been removed and there is now a clearer distinction between the behaviour of the human characters and the interventions of the spiritual entities in the play.

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“The playwright has also emphasised more clearly the redemptive and healing power of the spiritual entities in the play and they positive effect on the human characters.”

A semi-staged reading of ‘Hindu Times’, as part of Edinburgh International Festival, is scheduled at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh and is described as the next step in the play’s journey as the story is reimagined for live audiences in 2022.

The play by Scottish playwright Jaimini Jethwa is presented by Dundee Rep Theatre, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Pitlochry Festival Theatre in association with Stellar Quines Theatre Company.

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