Local writer Shamser Sinha’s play Three Sat Under the Banyan Tree is coming to Ipswich this weekend as part of a UK tour. He told us how visits to Ipswich County Library with his son inspired him to pen the production, which is based on a collection of Indian fables.
Shamser is an Ipswich-based writer and a regular visitor to Ipswich County Library. He said: “Ipswich Library and its sessions for young children provided an inspiration for me when writing Three Sat Under The Banyan Tree, which I wouldn’t and couldn’t have written otherwise.
“The sing ‘n’ rhyme sessions in the library brought stories for children to life, as they read, sung and rhymed together. My son got into books because of the library and those sessions.
“As a new dad, the environment was warm and friendly - and that’s not always the case for dads. I was free to hang out for hours reading books with my boy, and this helped me to be a better dad.”
The New Wolsey Theatre is hosting two performances of the play this Saturday (9 February) at the New Wolsey Studio. Three Sat Under The Banyan Tree is based on India’s extraordinary collection of fables – The Panchatantra:
“Near the foothills of the Himalayas, three orphans open a magical book under a Banyan tree. They were told the book wouldn’t give them answers but they’d learn from it, so they stir a pot of milk and watch as three stories of the forest rise from the pages. Stories of headstrong crows, a mongoose who wants a family, and a brave lion come vibrantly to life, with masks, movement and music.”
The play is a co-production by Tara Arts and Polka Theatre and is aimed at children aged seven and above and their families. It is touring the UK until early March, having originally played at The Polka Theatre in Wimbledon last September.