“It was a great tragedy. We were friends one day and enemies the next. I will take these things to my grave.”

The 1947 partition of India into West Pakistan and East Pakistan – now Bangladesh – saw millions uprooted and resulted in unspeakable violence. It would also shape modern Britain. Witnesses to this brutal moment in history live among us, yet the stories of that time remain shrouded in silence.

SILENCE is a new play focused on communal storytelling – presenting a shared history inspired by the remarkable personal testimonies of people who lived through the last days of the British Raj. Commissioned to mark the 75th anniversary of partition, SILENCE is adapted from Kavita Puri’s acclaimed book Partition Voices: Untold British Stories and was originally co-produced with the Donmar Warehouse.

The production examined the legacy of this brutal moment in history. Abdul Shayek, former Artistic Director of Tara Theatre, directed the original production and had developed this version for touring at the time of his death in August 2023. Iqbal Khan, Artistic Director of the 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, and a friend and colleague of Abdul’s, will step in to direct the touring version.

SILENCE is adapted from the testimonies and stories of people who lived through Partition. It is based on Kavita Puri’s acclaimed book Partition Voices: Untold British Stories and written by Sonali Bhattacharyya, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Ishy Din and Alexandra Wood.

Original production directed and developed for tour by Abdul Shayek Directed by Iqbal Khan.

From an original co-production by Tara Theatre and Donmar Warehouse In association with Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.

6 - 13 April 2024
£12.50 - £29
Under 26s £8
+ 70p QNext fee
Running Time
120 minutes including a 20 minute interval
Access Details

Live audio description | Sat 13 Apr | 2:30pm

Contains the following content: Strong language and references to: genocide, colonialism, population displacement, bodily harm, sexual violence, famine, suicide, prostitution, abduction, racism, religious violence – all in the context of the Partition of India and the legacy of Empire.

Show contains: Flashing lights and loud noises


Aaron Gill
Young Irfan / Tony / Noor’s Grandson / Sami
Alexandra D’Sa
Maya / Daughter
Asif Khan
Jasvir / Kulvinder / James
Bhasker Patel
Father / Irfan / Mukesh
Mamta Kaash
Pooja / Khadija / Noor
Tia Dutt
Mandeep / Jasmine / Zara

Creative team

Iqbal Khan
Abdul Shayek
Original production Director and Developer
Sonali Bhattacharyya
Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti
Ishy Din
Alexandra Wood
Rachana Jadhav
Set Designer
Rose Revitt
Original Costume Designer
Rachana Jadhav and Simeon Miller
Projection Designers
Seeta Patel
Movement Director
Simeon Miller
Lighting Designer
Beth Duke
Sound Designer and Composer
Polly Jerrold
Olivia Millar-Ross
Associate Director
Malena Arcucci
Associate Costume Designer
Bella Rodrigues
Executive Producer of Silence
Chloe Stally-Gibson
Production Manager
Malena Arcucci
Costume Supervisor
April Johnston
Company and Stage Manager
Emily Davies
Deputy Stage Manager
Florian Lim
Assistant Stage Manager
Sophia Raja
Wardrobe Manager
Grace Duff
Production Video Engineer / Sound and Video Technician
Chris McDonnell
Production LX / Tour Re-Lighter & LX Operator
Natasha Kathi-Chandra
Tara Theatre Artistic Director
Helen Jeffreys
Tara Theatre Executive Director
Lisa Kerridge
Tara Theatre Head of Finance and Operations
Neena Shea
Tara Theatre Senior Producer
Ellie Oke
Tara Theatre Front of House and Building Manager
Becca Pratt
Tara Theatre Interim Head of Marketing
Frederick Zennor
Tara Theatre Marketing Officer
Lisa Hood
Tara Theatre Technical Manager

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