The original text
Written in 1910, it is a symbolic play, an allegorical work about an individual’s spiritual and personal awakening in their quest for beauty and truth, loosely borrowed from the Buddhist story of King Kush from Mahāvastu.
Translations and adaptations
The Bengali play became known internationally when it was translated into English as The King of the Dark Chamber by Tagore himself, and published by MacMillan and Co. in 1914.
Performance history in South Africa
1961: Performed in South Africa in an English production of The King of the Dark Chamber directed by the Indian born, New York based, director Krisha Shah, which Shah had staged earlier the year in New York. He had been brought to South Africa by Union Artists to mount the play as an "all-Indian" production featuring two Indian stars, Suryakumari and Baskhar, with students from the AMDA drama school. Performed in Durban and then in the Great Hall at the University of the Witwatersrand.
In 1961 the progressive professional theatre organisation Union Artists. brought Shah and his production of Tagore's play to South Africa The production starred Indian stars Surya Kumari and Baskhar and opened in Durban before playing at the Wits University Great Hall. then went on to play at the University of the Witwatersrand's Great Hall.
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