What happens when two of the most iconic figures of the 20th century meet? When Chaplin metGandhi chronicles Gandhi’s visit to the East End in 1931 where he spent a total of twelve weeks meeting with the local residents, including the youngsters of Kingsley Hall. Compelled by Gandhi’s ethos, Chaplin arranged for the two to meet. Initially dismissed by Gandhi’s entourage, the two were brought together in one of the most fascinating and unlikeliest of meetings in human history…
This for me was a very endearing piece. The piece was brought to life by the fact that the play was staged in the actual Kingsley Hall that Gandhi visited adding an air of sentimentality that could not have been rehearsed. Famed for his roles in silent movies, the enigmatic Charlie Chaplin was brought to life by Mark Oosterveen’s portrayal of an intelligent, witty and caring individual who strongly rooted for the working class. Divian Ladwa’s portrayal of Gandhi commanded serenity, was charming and highlighted Gandhi’s sense of humour. The meeting between the two made for a compelling watch. As an audience member you wonder what the conversation would have entailed. Labelled the Little Tramp and the Little Leader, the similarity in nicknames went on to become the common bond between the two, although both small in stature they both had such presence. The ensemble, which included students from Eastlea Community School were brilliant. They worked fantastically together to portray the forever moving, energetic atmosphere of Kingsley Hall and created a strong sense of community amongst the residents. The piece for me was very educational and yet entertaining and so I give the production a 4/5.
When Chaplin met Gandhi
Written by Jim Kenworth
Directed by Matthew Xia