The story of the Delhi gang-rape victim has been turned into a stage production by South African playwright and director Yael Farber and it will have its world premiere at the Edinburgh Festival next month.
The play focuses on the attack in December 2012, when the 23-year-old
physiotherapy student was brutally raped on a moving bus by six men. The play stars Bollywood and Indian television actors Rukhsar Kabir, Priyanka Bose and Poorna Jagannathan, who first approached Farber with the idea of a theatrical response to the rape and murder.
"If you are a woman living in India, you have experienced either sexual violence or sexual violation," she told 'The Times' newspaper here. Jagannathan, who grew up partly in Delhi, added, "There were years when there was a violent incident every single day of my life."
The play uses the Delhi bus rape as a catalyst for a series of personal testimonies culled from the performers who have been victims of sexual violence themselves. "It is challenging to neither sensationalise nor sanitise. To be explicit can feed a dark focus on the violence itself.
Sexuality in mass culture is disturbingly eroticised. This is a deeply misunderstood difference between sex and rape," Farber said. The play opens for a set of preview shows at Riverside Studios in London tomorrow. However, the media has been barred from reviewing the show until its premiere at Assembly Hall in Edinburgh on August 1.
"We understand and appreciate the interest in this production, however, we have asked all media to please respect the creation and development of this work by waiting until the Edinburgh season to see it," the theatre said in a statement.