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Gauhar Jaan – The Datia Incident

Tue 10 – Sun 29 Apr | 7.30pm, 4pm Sundays

| £15 | £12 concessions

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The remarkable story of India’s first recording artist, a tale interwoven with scandal, intrigue and invention.

India, Oct 1902. Fred Gaisberg is travelling across the country capturing the exotic sounds of the East to be played on his miraculous new machine, the gramophone. He is hoping to record the beautiful voice of Gauhar Jaan, a young courtesan famed not only for her musical prowess but her arrogance.

Numerous travellers Gaisberg meets along the way recount the famous Datia Incident where the Maharaja and Gauhar Jaan ‘the Queen of the Arts’ indulged in a fierce battle of egos, the outcome of which threatens Gaisberg’s mission. Each tells the tale of what happened on that dark day in Datia.

So what exactly happened?

This is a multilingual play fused with music and dance that celebrates the early 20th century musical revolution, and the remarkable story of a talented musician who only ever craved control over her own fate.


To accompany the play an exhibition, supported by EMI Archive Trust and The British Library, will run throughout April in our café-bar space.

If you have booked a ticket to see the play on 28th April and also wish to attend the FREE exhibition closing event please remember to click on the link and book your place HERE.

Running Time: Approx 1hr 45 mins with interval

Presented by Mukul and Ghetto Tigers
Written by Tarun Jasani
Directed by Mukul Ahmed

Set design by Sophie Jump

Choreography by award-winning Indian dance artist Arunima Kumar

The production would like to thank Tower Hamlets Council for their support

For ages 15+