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KALI: the story of the world's wildest goddess

by Emily Hennessey & Sheema Mukherjee

music-and-opera, spoken-word-and-live-literature

The awe-inspiring, hilarious and moving tale of Hindu mythology's wildest goddess. Storytelling & live music at its most thrilling.

about the production

From demure housewife to bloodthirsty goddess, gurgling infant to elephant man, meditating sage to cosmic fire-eater, Hindu mythology illuminates a mind-blowing world of radical transformations.  Kali is one of the wildest shape-shifters of all. Demon-slayer, Life-saver, Supreme-Mother, Destruction-dancer, this goddess is truly Awesome. Indian mythology illuminates a mind-blowing world of radical transformations. Kali is one of the wildest shape-shifters of all. Demon-slayer, Life-saver, Supreme-Mother, Destruction-dancer, this goddess is truly Awesome. When an evil power spreads its clawed hands across the world, Kali’s time has come…  Join storyteller, Emily Hennessey and sitar player extraordinaire, Sheema Mukherjee, for a white-knuckled tuc-tuc ride through sun-kissed palaces, fiend-infested forests and every

about the artist

SHEEMA is an internationally renowned sitar player and composer best known for her work with Transglobal Underground and The Imagined Village. She absorbed North Indian classical music and the western tradition side-by-side. Brought up between Britain and India, she has a rich background to draw on in her own compositions and collaborations. EMILY is a captivating, bold and dynamic performance storyteller. She has trained, travelled and worked extensively in India and gathered stories from temples, towns and villages . Recent performances include the Soho Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Royal Opera House, British Museum and festivals across Europe.

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stage dimensions

width: 5 metres

height: 3 metres

depth: 3 metres

Can be technically self-sufficient, but if will use lights and PA if available, plus:
Radio mic x 2 (lapel or headsets)
1 standing mic

This performance is aimed at an adult audience. It has been extremely well received by diverse audiences in theatre spaces (Soho Theatre, York Theatre Royal, British Museum) festivals, and village halls with rural touring programmes.

The show works well at attracting an audience who may be new to performance storytelling and Indian music. It is very accessible, and no previous knowledge of Indian culture is required.

The show is full of Indian music and Indian stories. Suggested target audiences include:
Young adults who may not usually attend local arts events
Asian communities
Dance groups
Yoga groups
Meditation groups
Music groups

'exhilarating, evocative, vital…' 'Kali is a wonderful piece of theatre – pure in its ideas and retelling a fantastic story vital for both Hindu and modern culture. Kali’s tale is one of female empowerment, of joyful exuberance in the face of love, and seeing the two performers bring it to life so vividly makes it clear to see why it struck so many chords.'

Theatre Bubble

'extraordinary tales for a transfixed audience' 'In this enchanting show, the storyteller Emily Hennessey and the musician Sheema Mukherjee guide the audience through the surreal landscape of Hindu mythology—a world of giant floating lotuses and milk-filled oceans, a place where gods fight demons and humans are brought back from the dead.' 'Hennessey is steeped in Hindu mythology. Over the course of nearly two hours, she uses her considerable talents to conjure up a series of extraordinary tales for a transfixed audience. Her vivid use of language delivers a sensual thrill, skilfully evoking the sights, smells and tastes of this strange, fantastical world.'

British Theatre Guide

'Storyteller Emily Hennessey is an enthralling performer, infusing her tale with warmth and playfulness. 'Multi-instrumentalist Sheema Mukherjee, best known for her contributions to world-fusion music outfit Transglobal Underground, provides a live score which goes well beyond a mere accompaniment. Her virtuosic sitar playing creates a resonant soundscape, but she sets the instrument aside in the story’s more reflective passages in favour of rhythmic handclaps and lyrical chants.' 'Hennessey’s composition evokes a vivid and deeply sensual world, redolent with details of perfumed meadows, oceans of milk, dappling sunlight, and billowing snow.. there is a tangible magic in the air'

Exeunt Magazine

Suitable for all, although this is something which would need to be discussed in advance with programmers.
Can be supported by a BSL interpreter for deaf audiences.

We offer workshops in Storytelling & Indian Music for adults.
We also offer performance and workshop sessions in Indian stories and music for school groups (Primary & Secondary).

Costs vary.
School sessions from £100. 2 hour workshop £200.

Cost includes travel, accommodation and publicity print (A4 & A5)