Boiled Beans on Toast

Runs – Tuesday 10 March – Sunday 15 March

At – Watermans Arts –

Tickets – £15 (£12.50)

Written by – Girish Karnad

Director – Lillete Dubey

Starring – Gillian Pinto, Swati Das, Joy Sengupta, Deepika Amin, Avantika Akerker, Avnish Mehra and Maneesh Verma

“Boiled Beans on Toast is a sharp and witty observation of Indians living in the modern world. It is the story of a group of people living in the same house, and we follow them as their lives converge and then disband in a humorous and insightful tale of contemporary society. The city is Bangalore but anyone familiar with life in a modern Indian mega polis will instantly respond to this portrayal of urban aspirations, conflict, blind groping and even violence”

Boiled beans on toast
Boiled beans on toast

It is the story of lots of different characters from different backgrounds and how their lives entwine.. It was a wonderful play and I urge everyone to see it for the following reasons..

I’ll begin with the setting – I loved that they didn’t use Mumbai or Delhi and chose the Silicon Valley of India; Bangalore (officially called Bengaluru). I loved the sound effects, background music, the traditional costumes and the props like the ‘smartphone.’ The Watermans Arts Theatre was the perfect place to bring Bangalore/Bengaluru to London, it was intimate yet big enough for everyone to take in the sights and sounds of South India. The BBC Asian Networks Haroon Rashid told me the title came from Bangalore/Bengaluru meaning Boiled Beans and from Toast being ‘modern.’

The characters were perfectly cast I thought; from Kitty the conniving housewife (my favourite!) who loves to take people on a ride, Vimla the cook, to Anjana the housewife with a secret past to Prabhaker the man with a dream and Kunaal the future rock star. All were wonderfully eloquent, vibrant and effortless.

At some points I did think it did drag on a little but added to the storyline the less and it would’ve been incomplete without those scenes.

Playwright Girish Karnad really bought to life each and every character and their tiny little nuances. From Kitty’s sunglasses that kept falling from her head and it was not a story that was predictable. You didn’t know how the play was going to end or where the characters would go.

Lillete Dubey - Director
Lillete Dubey – Director

At the end I had the chance to speak to Lilette Dubey and thank you Rita Morar for taking the picture for me! Lilette has produced and directed the play and was extremely friendly and humble. She thanked us for coming and laughed when I said I loved her in Kal Ho Na ho.. actually during the play the guy from Indian Summers was sitting right in front of me but I was too scared to ask for a selfie!

Priya Mulji with Lilette Dubey
Priya Mulji with Lilette Dubey

Overall it was a great evening of theatre and something you should definitely try and see, especially something with your mum on Mother’s Day this Sunday.


Priya Mulji

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