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The Bombay Plays

The Bombay Plays

By Anosh Irani
Subjects: Anthologies, Family Life, Western Playwrights, British Columbia, South Asian Canadian Playwrights
Imprint: Playwrights Canada Press
Paperback : 9781770917668, 176 pages, May 2017
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781770917682, 176 pages, May 2017
Ebook (PDF) : 9781770917675, 176 pages, May 2017


  • Nominated, Governor General's Literary Award for Drama 2007


From renowned author Anosh Irani comes an updated edition of The Bombay Plays featuring two plays that explore the depths of the back alleys of Bombay. Winner of the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play Finalist for the 2007 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama

In The Matka King—a story that pits human nature against love and chance—a landscape of betrayal and redemption comes to life in the red-light district of Bombay, India. One very powerful eunuch, Top Rani, operates an illicit lottery through his brothel, and when a gambler who is deeply in debt makes an unexpected wager, the stakes become life and death.

Bombay Black—winner of the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play—tells the story of Apsara, Bombay’s most infamous dancer, who lives with her iron-willed mother, Padma, in an apartment by the sea. Padma takes money from men so they can watch her daughter perform a mesmerizing dance. When a mysterious blind man named Kamal visits for a private dance, his secret link to their past threatens to change each of their lives forever. At turns lyrical and brutal, Bombay Black charts the seduction of Apsara by Kamal, and Padma’s violent enmity towards the blind man and the secret he holds.


“Sensuous, lyrical, mysterious, sordid, grotesque, romantic and highly emblematic.”

- The Globe and Mail

“Anosh Irani has crafted a story as black and seductive as a desert night.”

- The Globe and Mail

“Intrigue, betrayal, love and seduction. This month’s most riveting watch on Mumbai’s theatre circuit is Bombay Black.”

- Elle Magazine

“At once poetic and theatrical, The Bombay Plays pulse with grit, humour and despair. Anosh Irani makes an astonishing debut with these two plays. His voice is fierce, funny and wholly original.”

- Governor General’s Literary Award jury citation