Behind the Beautiful Forevers
In selected international venues

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

a new play by David Hare, based on the book by Katherine Boo

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David Hare’s adaptation of Katherine Boo’s acclaimed study of a Mumbai slum breaks new ground for the National


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A brilliant, horrible and heart-breaking story. A window into the lives of India’s poorest

Time Out

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Compelling. Unforgettably communicates a world in which life is cheap

Daily Telegraph

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Magnificent. Rufus Norris's production has a humane, dignified sweep that captivates


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‘Richly detailed. An insight into the slums of Mumbai

Evening Standard

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Meera Syal (The Kumars, Goodness Gracious Me, Rafta Rafta at the National) returns to the National Theatre, directed by Rufus Norris (Broken, London Road).

Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo spent three years in Annawadi recording the lives of its residents. From her uncompromising book, winner of the National Book Award for Non-Fiction 2012, David Hare has fashioned a tumultuous play on an epic scale.

India is surging with global ambition. But beyond the luxury hotels surrounding Mumbai airport lies a makeshift slum, full of people with plans of their own. Zehrunisa and her son Abdul aim to recycle enough rubbish to fund a proper house. Sunil, twelve and stunted, wants to eat until he’s as tall as Kalu the thief. Asha seeks to steal government anti-poverty funds to turn herself into a ‘first-class person’, while her daughter Manju intends to become the slum’s first female graduate.

But their schemes are fragile; global recession threatens the garbage trade, and another slum-dweller is about to make an accusation that will destroy herself and shatter the neighbourhood.


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