Every so often comes around a weekend so epic, so chock to the rafters with awesome South Asian-type things to do, that only a round-up will do. So, if you’re at a loose end, or looking for some social/ cultural inspiration, then, holi-smokes are you in the right place. Here are all the festive parties (and more) you need to know about.
FRIDAY 10 MARCH
Kiranpal Singh and Saphwat Simab on santoor and rubab
The lovely, lovely sounds of the santoor and the rubab by two of the UK’s leading exponents Kiranpal Singh and Saphwat Simab. Our top tip for kicking off the weekend. Part of Sama Arts‘ StringFest 2017.
6.30pm. Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF. FREE (but you need to book). More information is here.
Presented by Queer Asia and the SOAS Tamil Society, The Journey is a 2004 Malayalam feature film based on the true story of two lesbian lovers in Kerala.
7pm. Room B102, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG. FREE (but you need to book). More information is here.
Mushaira – A Musical Mehfil
A celebration of the enduring beauty and appeal of Urdu poetry, as expressed in ghazals and songs from popular Indian cinema, and performed and appreciated within a traditional mushaira setting. Organised as part of the London Asian Film Festival, the evening features an impressive list of well-known modern-day poets.
7pm. Knowledge Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB. £15 (concessions apply). More information is here.
Made in India
The latest play from the Tamasha Theatre Company is centred around a clinic in Gujarat and examines the politics, economics and complex questions surrounding international surrogacy. It’s already toured Edinburgh, Manchester, Coventry and got some pretty decent reviews. Here‘s what the Guardian had to say.
Until 25 March 2017, 7.15pm. Soho Upstairs, Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1D 3NE. More information is here.
SATURDAY 11 MARCH 2017
LSE SU India Forum
The prelude to this student-run conference was the now infamous conversation with Karan Johar (which we wrote about here). The main event – titled India – A Superpower in the Making? features talks and discussions on India’s politics, economics and society. Our main interest (for the art, the ART!) is a session with actor, director and producer Farhan Akhtar in conversation with film writer Naman Ramachandran.
10am-6pm. LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE. £12-£18. More information is here.
Flavours of Spring – An Indulgent Holi Lunch
The lovely ladies at London Chai Party are putting on a vegetarian Holi feast. Expect delicate delectables to celebrate the arrival of Spring. The Thandai cocktail has vodka, and the Mehfil ki Rani features gulab jamuns.
12.30pm. A secret location in Farringdon. £37. More information is here.
Daughters of the Curry Revolution
Artist and theatre producer Afreena Islam tells the stories of her immigrant father, of his journey to the UK, his life once here, and her life growing up in the restaurant he ran. She has called the performance “something of a love letter, maybe?” to her dad.
3pm, 5pm, 7pm. Stratford Circus Arts Centre, Theatre Square, Stratford, London E15 1BX. £12 (concessions available). More information is here.
Battle of Bollywood III
25 teams battle it out in a Bollywood dance competition to be crowned UK champion. Hosted by the BBC Asian Network’s Tommy Sandhu, a guest appearance by comedian Paul Chowdhury and a judging panel featuring kathak dancer Gauri Sharma Tripathi. Oh, and teams called Exeter Ehsaas, Malhaari Manchester and Band Baaja Belfast!
6pm. Eventim Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street
London, England W6 9QH £22-£35. More information is here.
Holi Land Festival of Colours
This Holi party promises to be all about Bollywood music – it’s what Deepak Yadav does best! He’s promising the best Bollywood DJs, live music, dhol players, and those two magic words – jhatkas and matkas.
6.30pm-4am. Great Suffolk Street Warehouse, Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0NS. £30. More information is here.
SUNDAY 12 MARCH 2017
Play Holi with Dishoom
Dishoom’s Holi party has become a favourite fixture on the holi in London scene. There are two back-to-back parties – one for families, the other not. There will be endless gulaal, mithai, chai, and music of both the DJ’d and live variety. We’ve dedicated a whole post to the Dishoom shebang – so find out more there!
12pm – 3pm (daytime Family Holi), 6pm – 10pm (evening Holi party). York Hall, 5 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PJ. £26 adults, £15 kids (daytime Holi party), £30 adults (evening Holi party). More information is here.
Visaaranai is an award-winning Tamil film written by a former a rickshaw driver about the time he and his friends – migrants workers from a neighbouring state – were held and tortured by police in Andhra Pradesh in order to make them confess to a crime they didn’t commit. The film was in the running for India’s Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film, and has had rave reviews from India’s press and film fraternity. Probably one of the highlights of the London Asian Film Festival of which it’s a part (see our round-up for that here). The trailer is below – warning: violence.
4.30pm. Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW. £12. More information is here.
Shabana Azmi stars in a critically-acclaimed one-women show about identity, sisterhood and selfhood.
We’ve written more about this not-to-be-missed show here.
6pm. Logan Hall, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL. £25 – £60. More information is here.
Posted on 9 March 2017