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Pink Sari – Northern Stage Review

Pink Sari Revolution at Northern Stage Review

When you have power, nothing can touch you.


Pink Sari Revolution arrived at Northern Stage last night with a hard-hitting message for everyone around the world that we must stop at nothing to fight injustice. The powerful performance tells the real-life story of Sampat Pal, leader of the Gulabi Gang in support of womens rights who has successfully recruited an estimated 270,000 members to join her cause. Married herself at 12-years-old to an aging widow, she has personally felt injustice.


Based on the book by Amana Fontanella-Khan and adapted for the stage by Purva Naresh, the three-day run at Northern Stage is far too short as director Suba Das communicates the message of Sampat Pal loud and clear: No More.

Set in The Badlands of Utter Pradesh, Sampat learns of Sheelu Nishad, a young girl thrown into prison in the dead of night – 17-year-old Sheelu of the lowest caste. As Sampat investigates, a chain of events is set in motion that reveals the real cost of making a stand. Sheelu refuses her alcoholic fathers choice of husband and runs away, she then accuses a higher caste man of rape and in retaliation he accuses her of being a thief.

Difficult woman Sampat Pal will stop at nothing to help Sheelu to be free again, even if her efforts are thrown back in her face. Pal urges the women who follow her to put down their shame and pick up their sticks to fight against what is forced upon them.

This performance is powerful yet very disturbing, an eye-opening account of the struggle women face around the world as they reach to obtain a higher standard of living. Pink Sari Revolution faces the issues head on, squaring up to them and showing the brutality against women not as a violation but for exactly what –  it is rape.  

Director Suba Das said, There should be a hundred plays about Sampat Pal  – “ I think we need them. In the time since we started this process, we have seen women march in pink in their millions in Washington, London and beyond because the battle Sampat has been fighting every day for years is reaching our own shores. If we’re honest, the battle was always there. As Sampat might say, time to pick up our sticks.”




Book by: Amana Fontanella-Khan

Stage adaptation by: Purva Naresh

Director: Suba Das

Photo Credits : Pamela Raith

Co-produced by: Curve, Leicester; Belgrade Theatre Coventry and West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds In association with: English Touring Theatre

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