When Chaplin Met Gandhi: East London writer James Kenworth brings his play When Chaplin Met Gandhi, an imagining of the real-life 1931 encounter between the two of the greatest icons of the twentieth century to the North London Story Festival. The play tells the story of Gandhi’s remarkable visit 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.
Directed by David Cottis, these exclusive performances of extracts of the play bring to life and uncover yet another one of London’s unique and underground narratives. As playwright James Kenworth explains: ‘It was the unlikeliest of encounters in the unlikeliest of places, but when Chaplin and Gandhi met in Canning Town, the men had more in common than the realised. They both knew cockney rhyming slang, they had similar nicknames (Little Tramp and Little Leader), and they both stuck up for the underdog: Chaplin in his movies, Gandhi in his life and politics.’
‘This play also passes on a surprising amount of information in an educational context could provide a valuable starting point for explorations of the topics its touches on and discussion of the issues it raises.’ British Theatre Guide
About the speaker
James Kenworth is a Lecturer in Media Narrative at Middlesex University. He is a Playwright and Creative Writing/Drama Workshop Leader/Devisor. His writing include ‘verse-prose’ plays Johnny Song, Gob; black comedy Polar Bears; issue-led plays Everybody’s World (Elder Abuse), Dementia’s Journey (Dementia); plays for young people/schools, The Last Story in the World; and a Newham-based trilogy of site-specific plays, When Chaplin Met Gandhi, Revolution Farm and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham.
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 has extensive experience of planning, preparing and teaching playwriting and creative writing programmes/workshops for a wide variety of age groups and learners including children, young people, students and adult learners. He has worked on a regular basis on the delivery of these programmes with leading arts and educational organisations such as Spread The Word, CardboardCitizens, Workers Educational Association, Newham Adult Learning Service, Newham Libraries, Newham College, Community Links, Soho Theatre, University of East London and Middlesex University.James is a qualified teacher/lecturer and is a PhD by Public Works candidate with Middlesex based on his practice as a playwright.
James Kenworth will be speaking at the North London Story Festival on Tuesday 13th of March at 1:30 pm in the TV Studio B. In order to guarantee a seat for this event, please rsvp via this Eventbrite page.