Guards at the Taj

by Rajiv Joseph
Sold out

“If we hadn’t done our jobs tonight, we’d be hanging by our necks in the royal courtyard getting our eyes pecked out by the royal crows. So excuse me if I don’t wallow in some misbegotten guilt all night. Was it fucked up? Yes, it was. But I don’t have to feel terrible about it.”

Jamie Lloyd directs the European premiere of this wickedly funny award-winning play from Pulitzer Prize nominee Rajiv Joseph.

It’s 1648. Agra, India. Imperial guards and best mates Humayun and Babur keep watch as the final touches are put to the mighty Taj Mahal behind them. The emperor has decreed that no one, except the masons, labourers and slaves who exist within those walls, shall turn to look at the building until it is complete.

Now, as the building nears completion and the first light catches on the pure white domes behind them, the temptation to steal a glance at the most beautiful monument the world has ever seen grows stronger. But beauty has a price and Humayun and Babur are about to learn its true cost.

Guards at the Taj takes as its starting point an enduring legend and prompts contemporary audiences to revisit questions about art and privilege. The play premiered at the Atlantic Theater in New York to great acclaim in 2015 and is the recipient of both the Obie Award for Best New American Play and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play (2016).

This is a past event
“A welcome reminder of Bush Theatre's magic”
Evening Standard
“a striking show”
Time Out
“Rajiv Joseph's excellent play seizes on some potent philosophical issues and gives them a terrific comic snap and a sense of the wounding beauteous wonder of the ineffable”
The Independent
“Raises potent questions about the human price paid throughout history for the caprices of the mighty.”
New York Times
“Striking original drama”
Variety
“An exquisite piece of writing … an unexpectedly moving experience.”
Hollywood Reporter
“skilfully woven”
Financial Times
“a fable for our own times”
WhatsOnStage
“packed with honour”
A Younger Theatre

Photo & video

Sound Design and Original Music
Director
Fight Director
Costume Supervisor
Playwright
Lighting Designer
Designer

Cast

Darren Kuppan
Darren Kuppan plays Babur. His theatre credits include Cymbeline (Shakespeare's Globe Theatre), The Tempest (Shakespeare's Globe Theatre), Cast The Light (Walk The Plank), East Is East (Trafalgar Studios & Tour), An August, Bank Holiday Lark (Northern Broadsides), Melody Loses Her Mojo (20 Stories High), England Street (Oxford Playhouse), Much Ado About Nothing (RSC), We Love You City Revival (Belgrade/Talking Birds), Great Expectations (ETT/Watford Palace), Christmas Carol (Library Theatre), Rafta Rafta (Bolton Octagon/New Vic Stoke), Aladdin (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Jamaica House (The Dukes Playhouses), Arabian Nights (New Vic Stoke) and Bollywood Jane (West Yorkshire Playhouse). Television includes Coronation Street, Spooks, Britannia High, Emmerdale and The Adam & Shelley Show.
Danny Ashok
Danny Ashok plays Humayun. Theatre includes Disgraced (Lyceum Theatre, Broadway), The Djinns of Eidgah (Royal Court Theatre), Disgraced (Bush Theatre), The Royal Duchess Superstore (The Barking Broadway), Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 (Theatre Royal Bath) and Blood & Gifts (National Theatre). TV includes Capital, The Five, Holby City,The Dumping GroundCasualtyCoronation StreetThe Tower and The Bill.  Films include: Love Actually, Four Lions, Perfume, The Wasp & The Caterpillar.

@bushtheatre

Just saw #Chiaroscuro, @bushtheatre I'll deffo be sitting with the show for a while, it was an interesting form "g… https://t.co/1GMDWnZORK
Lara.
@_ELAOH
19 Sep
i wanted to change the way traditional cultural spaces are used, and tested this by throwing a week long festival i… https://t.co/NPh8a1hPOW
tobes
@bobimono
19 Sep
absolutely GASSED to have been nominated for 'Best Producer' for BABYLON Festival at @bushtheatre at the inaugural… https://t.co/uzlBjJEIyX
tobes
@bobimono
19 Sep
@bushtheatre thank you familyyyyyyyyy 💖
tobes
@bobimono
19 Sep
Get yourselves down to the @bushtheatre to see the sensational @MrRichardGadd in his new show #BabyReindeer. Heard… https://t.co/XK7cnYJ87T
Daniel Mays
@DanielMays9
19 Sep
We had the best day @bushtheatre for our first #BEAM2020 Pitching Day! Thank you @LynetteLinton @deirdre_OH & Yinka… https://t.co/vb8275vRvW
Musical Theatre Network
@MTheatreNetwork
19 Sep

Bush Green

Conversations, dispatches and ideas from the Bush Theatre.

Go to BushGreen
Work Experience Diary | Annie: “This is exactly the place to be to feel supported for new ideas and work”

Our work experience student Annie reflects on her week with us. Some could say I was thrown into the deep end when I was given my desk to borrow for the week. I can assure you that I definitely wasn’t but still, sitting in the Bush’s Artistic Director’s desk space felt somewhat daunting. As Lynette…

Lynette Linton: “These stories aren’t new. Women of colour have been here all along.”

The 31st August will be a night of firsts for me – it will be the first preview of the first play in my first season as Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre. The play itself, Chiaroscuro, is also the first play that the incredible poet and novelist Jackie Kay wrote, and it will be…

Work Experience Diary: Emily

Our work experience student Emily reflects on her week with us My week at Bush Theatre has been such an incredible eye opener and it has completely re-awoken my passion for theatre. Coming to Bush, I had initially decided on an unrelated university degree despite my passion for the arts; However, after a mere two…