The Performance of Adaptation as a Postcolonial Strategy

A Talk by Jerri Daboo

Part of the CCL’s Postcolonial Theatre series, May 2023.

Thursday 1 June 2023, 6pm BST (online) 

(rescheduled from 11 May 2023)

The development of the movement of British South Asian theatre offers a way to examine how diaspora communities create new forms of performance in response to their positioning.

Adaptation has been a particular feature of this movement, and this talk will consider why and how forms of adaptation have been used, leading to new meanings of the plays, as well as new forms of performance with a hybridity of styles.

An approach from diaspora studies will show how a postcolonialism can be extended in the context of diaspora to allow for transnational connections and movements of performance forms, leading to the use of the term transadaptation to take into account translation (verbal and cultural), transmedia, and the transnational.

The talk will examine a number of performances produced by theatre companies Tara Arts and Tamasha, as well as by playwright Tanika Gupta.


The talk will be chaired by Nandi Bhatia.

Attendance is free but booking will be essential to receive a link to attend. BOOKING IS NOW CLOSED.

Watch the recording of the seminar:


The participants:

Jerri Daboo is Professor of Performance in the Department of Communication, Drama and Film at the University of Exeter. She has been researching the cultures and histories of British South Asian communities since 2004, including several large AHRC-funded projects, and many publications including her monograph Staging British South Asian Culture: Bollywood and Bhangra on the British Stage.

Nandi Bhatia is Associate Dean for Research for the Faculty of Arts & Humanities and Professor at Western University, Canada. A specialist in Postcolonial Literature and theory, her research explores the connections between literary and theatrical practices, nationalism and colonialism, and examines the ruptures and crossovers that resulted from the British Empire’s longstanding engagement with India. Such connections have been analyzed in her monographs, Acts of Authority/Acts of Resistance: Theatre and Politics in Colonial and Postcolonial India  (University of Michigan Press and Oxford University Press: 2004), Performing Women/ Performing Womanhood: Theatre, Politics and Dissent in North India  (OUP, 2010), edited collections Modern Indian Theatre (ed., OUP, 2011) and Partitioned Lives: Narratives of Home, Displacement and Relocation (co-ed. with Anjali Gera-Roy, Pearson, 2009).