A new play about the Briton tasked in 1947 with partitioning the South Asian subcontinent into India and Pakistan is set to be live-streamed online on Saturday.
‘Drawing the Line’ tells the story of Sir Cyril Radcliffe – a brilliant, Oxford-educated lawyer who had little or no idea about India and that country’s political intrigues – who was given the daunting job of creating the new borders of India and
Pakistan in a matter of five weeks in the run up to the bloody events of August 1947.
The critically acclaimed play by Howard Brenton has been running to packed houses at the Hampstead Theatre in London and producers have decided on the live stream on Saturday 1 January for the benefit of those who were unablet o get their hands on a ticket.
The play is inspired by a 2009 visit to India by Brenton, himself an India novice.
In 1947 the then-Mr Justice Cyril Radcliffe was told by Prime Minister Clement Attlee to travel to India and, with limited survey information, no expert support and no knowledge of cartography, to draw the border which would divide the Indian sub-continent into two new Sovereign Dominions: India and Pakistan.
Wholly unsuited to his role, Radcliffe was unprepared for the dangerous whirlpool of political intrigue and passion into which he is plunged; one of religious and racial turmoil, blood feuds and even the rumoured affair between Jawarhalal Nehru and Lady Mountbatton; the Viceroy’s wife.
As he began to break under the pressure he came to realise that he held in his hands the fate of millions of people.
Tom Beard plays Radcliffe and leads the cast of David Annen, Paul Bazely, Lucy Black, Silas Carson, Abigail Cruttenden, Neil D’Souza, Tanveer Ghani, Andrew Havill, Salma Hoque, Rez Kempton, John Mackay, Simon Nagra, Nikesh Patel, Brendan Patricks, Shalini Peiris and Peter Singh.
Hampstead Theatre has negotiated an unprecedented agreement with the cast and creative team to allow the live-streaming of the 11 January 2014 performance.
To watch the show live and free visit www.hampsteadtheatre.com or Hampstead Theatre’s YouTube channel.
The live-streaming will begin from 7.30pm.