The Tin Forest

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Joe Douglas and TheatrEX

Notes from Bangladesh

by Joe Douglas

The fluttering arrays of brightly coloured washing, left drying on the flat roofs of multi-storey buildings, seem just beyond the edge of the wing tips as we come to land. This will be my first Bangladeshi lesson in compulsory close proximity.

Dhaka is alive. It teems with colour, energy and a sense of purpose.

I arrive on the first day of Spring and the women are wearing yellow, to reflect the budding leaves.

The next day, the members of TheatrEX seem to enjoy the story of the Tin Forest and are particularly enamoured by the National Theatre of Scotland’s notion of “theatre without walls”. Theatre here is a direct mode of political as well as artistic expression and the group will be working towards making a piece about the ecological problems in the Sundarbans – the giant mangrove forest and last surviving home of the Bengal tiger. The Tin Forest seems a suitable starting point – the old man in the story even convinces a tiger to come and live in his carefully cultivated garden.

The group are working on their piece for The Tin Forest International Theatre Festival at the South Rotunda in July.

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