Image credit
FO 141/733
With permission of
The National Archives

Cast and Creative Team

Writers and Pieces
Cama by Sharmila Chauhan
Corner of a Foreign Field by Hassan Abdulrazzak
Step Child by Amy Ng
The Honour of Arjun Singh by Amman Paul Singh Brar
Smile by Melanie Pennant

TDA Director Anthony Simpson-Pike
TDA Assistant Director Mina Barber

Jim Conway, Umar Pasha, Kal Sabir, Sid Sagar, Peter Singh, Balvinder Sopal

The National Archives
The National Archives is the official archives and publisher for the UK Government, and for England and Wales, housing over 1,000 years of iconic national documents. It works to bring together and secure the future of the public record, both digital and physical, for future generations. 

Find out more at:
Twitter: @UKNatArchives
Facebook: The National Archives


The National Archives logo


Loyalty & Dissent - A Tamasha Scratch Night

In collaboration with The National Archives and supported by The Friends of The National Archives


Our latest scratch night features bold new work from five Tamasha Playwrights. Each has been commissioned to research and develop pieces inspired by The National Archives' documents relating to the experiences of people from South Asia in and around the time of the First World War.

This immensely rich and vast material includes reports about suspected ‘seditionists’ agitating for independence, accounts of South Asian soldiers fighting for the British Empire, documents from spies across the Empire, war diaries and reports from hospitals. The five short plays bring to life diverse voices from Britain’s history and explore the tension between loyalty and dissent to an all-powerful British Imperial State.

The five script-in-hand performances are:

Cama by Sharmila Chauhan
In a trench in Marseille the loyalty of three Indian soldiers is tested when a mysterious ‘brother’ enters beseeching them to surrender for the good of the motherland. Will carrying on the fight really prove their fealty to the crown? Or is the battle for Indian independence the real fight that should be had?

Corner of a Foreign Field by Hassan Abdulrazzak
October 1914 and a leading Imam, Maulvi Sadr Ud-Din is embattled with Military Secretary to the India Office, General Barrow over the appropriate burial grounds for Muslim soldiers. With Turkey entering the War on the side of the Central Powers much could rest on the decision that is made.  

Step Child by Amy Ng
The British Government promises that all British subjects are equal before the law. But when America begins blocking the growing number of Indian Sikhs seeking to enter the US, reneging on an Anglo-American treaty will the British step in? A British spy and his wealthy Parsi informant discuss the potential revolutionary ramifications if the British do not. 

The Honour of Arjun Singh by Amman Paul Singh Brar
Arjun sits restless and scared as he prepares to enter the battle field for the first time. Inspired by compatriot Vir's legends of mighty Sikh warriors, Arjun becomes resolute in his determination to bring honour his family. But with false reports of cowardice emerging what story will history remember?  

Smile by Melanie Pennant
Three Indian soldiers recover at the iconic hospital at Brighton Pavilion. Every detail is provided for but something isn’t quite right. The soldiers’ question why the plentiful food and high quality care is served in the shadow of bars across windows and guards at the outer gates. Will they be honoured as the heroes the British have led them to believe or are they merely prisoners being readied again for war?  

The performances will be followed by an audience-led Q&A with Iqbal Husain, from The National Archives’ outreach team and members of the creative team.  

Listen to the Audio Dramas

Loyalty & Dissent: Audio Dramas >

Download The Scripts 

Loyalty & Dissent: The Scripts >

Event Details

Date: Friday, 31 March 2017, 7:30pm 
Venue: Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Book Now >

Download the e-Flyer here.

Previous scratch night audience feedback:

"I love the Tamasha scratch nights. Always interesting, challenging, great way for artists to try stuff out."

"Meaningful, universal, engaging, worthwhile."

"Really good event. I am a writer, just starting off and it was a fantastic experience to be able to witness (rather than just read) and contribute to ‘work in progress’ – thanks for the opportunity."