It's Aya's wedding day. Her third. Her current two husbands aren't too fussed. In a society in which there are few women, that's just what happens. But as the household prepares for the wedding feast, a stranger arrives - one who threatens to challenge everything they believe in. Against a backdrop of modern rural India, Sharmila Chauhan weaves an extraordinary tale of love and wonder. From the preparation of luxury food and the sacrifice of the lamb to the dressing of the bride and the dance to end all dances, this will be an exuberant, joyful and challenging piece of theatre. 'In parts of India, polyandry has become a necessity. Gendercide, as a consequence of the ancient preference for boys, the modern desire for smaller families and the increasing availability of ultrasound techniques to detect the gender of a baby still in the womb means that the number of females is declining. I wrote The Husbands both as a response to this but also as an exploration of the complexity of love, intimacy and trust between one woman and three men where gender differences and expectations are amplified.
In a sense this play is as much a warning as an allegory for the fate of women in The West today.' - Sharmila Chauhan
Having written stories all her life, Sharmila's compulsion to write a novel released itself during her PhD thesis - an odd combination. While completing her novel, Sharmila began writing a play and was lucky to be part of Kali's writer development program whilst pregnant. The birth of her son coincided with selection for the Royal Court's writing programme and she has also selected for Tamasha's TDA course. Her play Born Again/Purnajanam was performed in January 2012 at Southwark Playhouse (Dir Janet Steel, Kali). A reading of When Spring Comes - an exploration of the Ugandan exodus - was performed in autumn 2012 (dir: Domonic Hingorani, Tamasha) in association with the South Asian Lit Fest. Her play White Turns to Grey is being developed with Angelic Tales (Rikki Beadle Blair and John Gordon). The Husbands - a tale of polyandry and feminism, has been commissioned by Kali and Pentabus Theatre for tour in 2014. Sharmila currently traverses two parallel writing lives: as a medical writer; and as a playwright, prose writer and poet. She lives in East London with her husband, son and cat Tashi.