01 February 2018
Regrettably still relevant: the Simple8 company's inventive retelling of E.M. Forster's A Passage to India
During the almost half-century between publishing A Passage to India in 1924 and his death in 1970, E.M. Forster refused to sell the movie rights, apparently fearing vulgarisation of its complex racial politics. But in 1957 he did allow a stage adaptation, which, after the novelist’s death, became the basis for David Lean’s 1984 Oscar-winning film.
As a result, a large-scale, new stage version by the Simple8 company has the advantage of appearing in Forster’s favoured medium for the material, with the drawback that many theatregoers will have vivid recollections of Lean’s visually spectacular account of the story of an English traveller, Adela Quested, who accuses a Muslim Indian, Dr Aziz, of assault, dividing the expat community.
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