North West Premiere of Child of the Divide
Part of the Big Imaginations festival of theatre for children and families
I have a boy. He is across the border,
I know he is.
A few miles between.
The same stars,
Shine on him.
Bhuchar Boulevard In association with Big Imaginations, Partition History Project and Polka Presents
Summer 1947. Sixteen million people are on the move between India and the newly-formed Pakistan. Amid the violent political upheaval, young Pali’s fingers slip from his father’s hand, and his destiny changes forever.
Lost, dispossessed and alone, Pali is saved by a Muslim family. The boy is given a new home and new family, a new name, a new faith and a new life. But seven years later, his real father returns to claim him and Pali’s life is turned upside down again. He is forced to decide who he is: the Hindu boy he was born to be, the Muslim boy he has become, or simply a child of the divide.
To mark the seventieth anniversary of the partition of India, Sudha Bhuchar’s remarkable story of family, identity and belonging set against a fractured landscape, takes to the road this Autumn. Inspired by the short story Pali by Bhisham Sahni, Child of the Divide weaves through the lives of Pali and four other children in a fictionalised account of real experiences, of families torn apart and of stolen pasts, where friendship and love are found in unexpected places.
When the original production of Child of the Divide premiered at Polka in 2006, in a co-production with Tamasha, it received rave reviews and was named as that year’s number one show for children and families by Time Out. With unaccompanied children gathering at our borders, this timely new production shines a light on the impact of world events on the lives of the young.
‘ A wonderful and mature play that uses the story of one child to explore the tragedy of many thousands…it’s a rare show with equal appeal to kids and adults, heart and head.’ – Lyn Gardner, The Guardian