Behind Closed Doors: dramatizing hidden truths in real stories

In 1931 Gandhi came to London to press for the Independence of India. Instead of staying in a West End hotel he lived in an East London community centre. Charlie Chaplin was also in London at the same time for the British premiere of City Lights, and wanted to meet Gandhi.34101 chaplinghandi.indd

Writer James Kenworth’s critically acclaimed play, When Chaplin Met Gandhi, told the story of this remarkable meeting between two of the greatest figures of the Twentieth Century.

No one really knows what took place at the meeting between these two men as it was held behind closed doors, which meant that conjecture and supposition played a large part in the writing of the script.

James discusses questions of historical accuracy, biography, interpretation, and the delicate balance between fidelity to the truth and the need to tell a good story.

Date: Thursday 23rd February 2017

Time: 15.00-16.00

Location: Room C126, College Building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

“While holding with its presentation of character, this play also passes on a surprising amount of information and in an educational context could provide a valuable starting point for exploration of the topics it touches on and discussion of the issues it raises.” British Theatre Guide

This is a show that mixes history and fiction to craft a fine piece of theatre with a message for our times.” thepublicreviews


James Kenworth is a qualified teacher, playwright and creative writing/drama workshop leader/devisor. His plays include Johnny Song, Gob, Polar Bears, issue-led plays Everybody’s World (Elder Abuse), Dementia’s Journey (Dementia), and site-specific plays When Chaplin Met Gandhi (Kingsley Hall), Revolution Farm (Newham City Farm) and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham (Newham Libraries/Community Links). His play, Dementia’s Journey, won the 2015 University of Stirling International Dementia Award in the category: Dementia & the Arts. When Chaplin Met Gandhi has recently been published by TSL Publications. He currently lectures in English, Creative Writing, and Media for Middlesex University.

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