‘The ideals and the paths of the young and old are always different’ – Dinesh Gupta
Based on the true story of her great uncle and freedom fighter Dinesh Gupta, Lions and Tigers is the world premiere of a new play by leading playwright Tanika Gupta. This dramatically relevant and authentic story is set against the backdrop of negotiations between the leaders of the Indian National Congress; the future Prime Minister Nehru wavers between his respect for Gandhi’s non-violence and his admiration for the youthful fervour of the militant Bengali nationalist, Subhas Chandra Bose.
Tanika Gupta has written over 20 stage plays for major British theatres but this is her most personal play yet. Based on family stories that Tanika heard from early childhood, the play teems with details drawn from her grandfather’s 500 page handwritten journal about his younger brother – and from the 92 letters written by her great uncle from his prison cell.
Lions and Tigers charts Dinesh Gupta’s emotional and political awakening as this extraordinary 19 year old pits himself against the British Raj. Culminating in actions that shook the foundations of the British Empire, Lions and Tigers challenges our assumptions about Indian independence and offers new insights into the battles between the British lions and the Bengal tigers.
‘Death is my friend, my greatest benefactor. My liberty is in death, my life eternal is in death’ – Dinesh Gupta