We've got big plans this year…

Guards at the Taj

by Rajiv Joseph
Book tickets
01 May to 20 May

“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).

Times & Prices

Details

Dates

01 May - 20 MayFrom £10

We offer concessions on tickets in the Theatre priced at £20 or more. See our offers and concessions page or give us a call for more details.

Wednesday Matinees

3, 10, 17 MayFrom £10

We offer concessions on tickets in the Theatre priced at £20 or more. See our offers and concessions page or give us a call for more details.

Saturday Matinees

6, 13, 20 MayFrom £10

We offer concessions on tickets in the Theatre priced at £20 or more. See our offers and concessions page or give us a call for more details.

Theatre Club with Maddy Costa and Jake Orr post-show discussion Wed 10 May 9pm in the Reading Room. Free.

Running time approx 1 hours 20 minutes

Ticket info

We price tickets a little differently at Bush Theatre - here's how and why.

£10 Count Me In Tickets

A limited number of these tickets are available for each performance. They must be booked in advance but the seat will be allocated on the day of performance. Please go to Box Office on arrival to find out your seat number. You will probably not be sitting with your party.

Access details

Captioned performance

Thu 27 Apr, 7.30pm

Audio described performance

Sat 6 May, 2.30pm

Please note

Guards at the Taj contains mild, infrequent nudity and uses haze.

Show introduction

Available as a word and audio file in the Accessibility section of the website.


About your visit

How to get here, opening times, offers and concessions, and how to hire one of our wonderful spaces.

Visit our book shop

Play texts for many of our productions can be purchased online. Pop on over to our online book shop.

Did you know…

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“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 Headshot Square B&W
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, Aadam.
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.

#GuardsAtTheTaj @bushtheatre

Striking & textured performance of #GuardsAtTheTaj Congrats @Darren_Kuppan @DannyAshok So beautifully realized by @jamielloyd @bushtheatre
Rebecca Yeo
@rebeccagyeo
30 Apr
What's the worst job you've ever had to do? #GuardsAtTheTaj explores access to art and the cost of loyal service… https://t.co/dM5nyYMQMU
Bush Theatre
@bushtheatre
27 Apr
My blog is back! Bit of a redesign and a new review of #GuardsAtTheTaj at the @bushtheatre #LDNTheatreBloggers https://t.co/8caqSSebgf
Laura Peatman
@LauraKPeatman
29 Apr
With ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reviews across the board, grab tickets to #GuardsAtTheTaj @bushtheatre https://t.co/DwKOmfinYL https://t.co/R40my6tjIL
TheatrePeople.com
@Theatre_People
29 Apr
What's the worst job you've ever had to do? #GuardsAtTheTaj explores access to art and the cost of loyal service… https://t.co/dM5nyYMQMU
Bush Theatre
@bushtheatre
27 Apr
So excited to head to the @bushtheatre this eve for #GuardsAtTheTaj - the 'count me in' tickets are a great idea!
Kate Quinn
@kateq89
29 Apr

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