Preview by Jack Foley
THE Union Theatre in Southwark is delighted to present an updated
version of Siddharta Becomes The Buddha, by Dipika
Smith, from July 12 to 30, 2005.
Who exactly was the Buddha?
In this play, Sri Chinmoy perfectly encapsulates the life of
Through this series of short plays he explores episodes in the
life of Lord Buddha, recounting his journey from his secluded
youth in the royal palace to his spiritual awakening and striving
for enlightenment, through the years of his teaching to his dramatic
He struggles through pain, suffering and temptation until he
achieves his goal - illumination.
A story as apt today as it was 2500 years ago...
Scenes of humour and intensity bring the story of Lord Buddha
The play is performed by an all-female cast and reveals every
aspect of his nature from the most human to the most divine.
This new look at the Buddha's life is being performed in London
for the first time since 1995.
The director, Dipika Smith's upbringing was strongly influenced
by Indian culture.
After studying Indian dance under Tara, at the Bhavan Centre,
she turned her attention to the theatre; setting up the company
'Immortality's Flame-Waves' in 1995.
That year they performed a play on
the life of Krishna; The Singer of the Eternal Beyond,
in London; then went on to tour in Canada, France, Austria and
finally in New York.
The company has also performed many different short plays in
various locations around the globe.
Dipika loves the challenge of taking simple, traditional stories
and adapting them into short plays, because she feels that, although
on an outer level lifestyles are constantly changing, human nature
essentially remains the same.
The emotions such as love, hate, anger jealousy, and the quest
for a higher truth, are universally timeless. As the old saying
goes, 'it will all be the same in 100 years time'.
After reading books on the Buddha, Dipika came across Siddharta
becomes the Buddha and was amazed that the author had managed,
so eloquently, to encapsulate the Buddha's long and illustrious
life in a two hour stage piece; many other texts take volumes
to express the same events.
From sex forces to enlightenment, the play is intense, exciting
and powerful. Some eccentric characters bring humour to the production.
The strong all female cast of seven will be performing at the
Union Theatre for the first time.
The aim of the company is to stage plays that delve deeper into
the spiritual side of life, rather than just scratch the surface.
Immortality’s Flame-Waves aim to bring out the depth of
feeling in the plays they perform, both the uplifting and the
painful emotions to highlight the message the playwright is seeking
Union Theatre, Southwark, London
Performances from July 12 until 30 at 7.30pm (Tues. to Sat.).
Tickets £10 (conc. £8)