Symbolic of purity, a stark contrast to the muddy and watery planes they daily emerge from, as well as rebirth, strength, tranquility amongst other virtues, the Lotus flower has inspired various eastern cultures for millennia. Drawing from the flower’s porwerful symbolism, Satinder Kaur Chohan presents Lotus Beauty, a multi-generational piece placing the stories of five Indian women at the fore.
Southall based salon Lotus Beauty is manager and founder Reita (Kiran Landa) pride and joy, a hub for women to unwind and receive requested beauty treatments, the business serves more than just being a salon, but a place for women to seek sanctuary and surround themselves with fellow women who share similar experiences. Chohan vividly painting a rich patchwork of five lives brought together by a common thread, Reita’s resilience, having migrated to the UK with her mother during childhood, now feeding into her experience of motherhood years later as she grasps the generational and cultural differences that form the crux of various disagreements with teenage daughter Pinky (Anshula Bains). Tanwant (Zainab Hasan) Reita’s vivacious, loyal employee determined to meet Mr Right and make ends meet, Kamal (Ulrika Krishnamurti) who’s very recently become a mother grappling dealing with a non supportive family, Big Dhadhi (Soud Faress) the wise elder that brings everybody together and oversees a sense of calm that always tends to fall when she speaks.
Pooja Ghai directs a warm, honest, defiant production, one celebrating solidarity in the face of hardships experienced by all five personalities, five lives overlapping, accessing their immediate realities in the only way that they can, silent struggles, open ones, agreements, disagreements constantly seeing all connected – themes of migration, womanhood, relationships, cultural heritage, trauma, generational divides all sensitively addressed – a timely production that speaks to our current times, one creating a much needed safe space to explore issues addressed.
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Lotus Beauty is currently showing until Saturday 18th June 2022 at Hampstead Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…