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

This is gonna be 🔥 https://t.co/egrq9HlNTt
Melissa Saint
@melissasaintt
15 Jul
Yes can’t wait to see @PREEYAKALIDAS on stage , her voice 😍 https://t.co/ERcWL1l4Aq
skylark
@skylark198seven
15 Jul
To be clear, when you theatre people talk about ‘all women this & all women that’ THIS 👇🏾is the diversity I’m looki… https://t.co/LGBtoKPwjk
S Jasmin Phillips
@ShereenJasmin
15 Jul
Great to see @PREEYAKALIDAS heading back to the London stage. She's joining @ShilohCoke @AnoushkaLucas &… https://t.co/4Jf0nGkL1X
Matthew Amer
@MattAmer
15 Jul
SUPER excited to see all beautiful brown people that have been cast recently! Yes you guys!! @KilnTheatrehttps://t.co/IP9GGhlsmk
Nigarish Khan
@WarriorNigs
15 Jul
Hi twitter friends. So I’m on the lookout for a photographer, someone who is good at capturing theatre but live eve… https://t.co/grUuKKDVwA
Tasha Msanide
@tashamsa
10 Jul

Bush Green

Conversations, dispatches and ideas from the Bush Theatre.

Go to BushGreen
Work Experience Diary| Hana: “I’m incredibly lucky to have had an insight into this world”

Our work experience student Hana tells us about her time at the Bush Theatre. It sounds a little cliché, but I can honestly say I’ve had a wonderful week of work experience at the Bush Theatre. Obviously when we think of theatre we tend to focus on what happens on stage, in front of an…

Caryl Phillips’ Strange Fruit Preface: “My generation had become even more vocal and uncompromising”

Caryl Phillips, writer of Strange Fruit, describes the context of his debut play in the Preface to the playtext published by Oberon Books. It’s available from our online book shop. I wrote ‘Strange Fruit’ during the autumn of 1979. I had graduated from university in June of the same year with a desire to write, but this was long before the…

New Voices – Bold Visions

Lynette Linton Announces Her First Season As Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre   This season at the Bush Theatre UK debuts by British and Irish writers will fill our stages. You’ll find extraordinary stories of lived experiences that speak to all corners of our city. I believe in the Bush’s power to write narratives…