From Hindu gods to Hitler, Executive Producer of Back to Back Theatre discusses her acclaimed play.
The idea of Ganesh transplanted to Nazi Germany to reclaim the swastika as a traditional Hindu symbol is a fairly unusual premise for a play. How did the central idea come about?
Back to Back Theatre is made up of actors who are all perceived to have intellectual disabilities. They all, therefore, have a pretty idiosyncratic view of the world. The idea of Ganesh in the play came about initially from one of our actors who was obsessed with Ganesh; she drew Ganesh daily. We began one creative development with her explaining to a group of our actors and collaborators who Ganesh was, and just talking about her drawings.
Around the same time we were experimenting with re-pitching our actors’ voices up and down. One actress came in and she had her hair worn very tightly and was wearing a bomber jacket. She pitched her voice down really low and she suddenly became this terrifying neo-Nazi character. So we put the two together – Ganesh and Nazis. We did a quite embarrassing thing and googled ‘Ganesh and Nazism’ and realised there were like 10...