Tanika Gupta’s The Empress had its first appearance at the RSC in 2013.
The Empress begins in 1887, the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, when Rani Das and Abdul Karim step ashore onto London’s Tilbury Docks after a long voyage from India.
Rani has to battle a society who deems her a second class citizen, while Abdul forges an entanglement with the ageing Queen who finds herself enchanted by stories of an India she rules but has never seen.
The play blends the true story of Queen Victoria’s relationship with her servant and ‘Munshi’ (teacher) Abdul Karim, with the experiences of Indian ayahs who came to Britain during the 19th century.
This production was performed in the Summer of 2017 and was directed by Pooja Ghai and performed by graduating students at Central School of Speech and Drama.
Wayne worked as movement director and choreographer on this production.