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Encapsulating the life of Lord Buddha at The Union



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 Lord Buddha.

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 earth departure.

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 alive.

The play is performed by an all-female cast and reveals every aspect of his nature from the most human to the most divine.

The Company

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 to communicate.

Union Theatre, Southwark, London
Performances from July 12 until 30 at 7.30pm (Tues. to Sat.).
Tickets £10 (conc. £8)

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