In The Matka King—a story that pits human nature against love and chance—a landscape of betrayal and redemption comes to life in the red-light district of Bombay, India. One very powerful eunuch, Top Rani, operates an illicit lottery through his brothel, and when a gambler who is deeply in debt makes an unexpected wager, the stakes become life and death. Bombay Black—winner of the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play—tells the story of Apsara, Bombay’s most infamous dancer, who lives with her iron-willed mother, Padma, in an apartment by the sea. Padma takes money from men so they can watch her daughter perform a mesmerizing dance. When a mysterious blind man named Kamal visits for a private dance, his secret link to their past threatens to change each of their lives forever. At turns lyrical and brutal, Bombay Black charts the seduction of Apsara by Kamal, and Padma’s violent enmity towards the blind man and the secret he holds.
Anosh Irani has published four critically acclaimed novels: The Cripple and His Talismans, a national bestseller; The Song of Kahunsha, which was an international bestseller and was shortlisted for Canada Reads and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; Dahanu Road, which was nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize; and his latest novel, The Parcel, was a finalist for the BC Book Prize’s Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Governor General’s Literary Award. His play Bombay Black won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, and his anthology The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. He lives in Vancouver. Visit www.anoshirani.com for more information.
“Anosh Irani has crafted a story as black and seductive as a desert night.” —The Globe and Mail
“Intrigue, betrayal, love and seduction. This month’s most riveting watch on Mumbai’s theatre circuit is Bombay Black.” —Elle Magazine
“Sensuous, lyrical, mysterious, sordid, grotesque, romantic and highly emblematic.” —The Globe and Mail
“At once poetic and theatrical, The Bombay Plays pulse with grit, humour and despair. Anosh Irani makes an astonishing debut with these two plays. His voice is fierce, funny and wholly original.” —Governor General’s Literary Award jury citation