Made in I̶n̶d̶i̶a̶ Britain @ Pleasance Two, Pleasance Courtyard (Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022) Review

Caught up between cultures is a tough phenomena to figure out, parents who have migrated from a part of the world to the other clutching on to their cultural roots, whilst their children inherit said customs whilst adopting new ones from their home of origin. For TV presenter Rinkoo Barpagathis has been the case, born to Indian/Kenyan parents of Punjabi descent in Birmingham in the early 70s, he’s felt a cultural pull towards his Indian roots, whilst paving a path for himself in the UK. Performed in British Sign Language, presenting his journey so far from childhood until now, Barpaga presents Made in I̶n̶d̶i̶a̶ Britain.

Supported by a live voice over actor, Barpaga captivatingly brings to life the scenarios, characters and experiences that have helped him to answer the overriding question “Where do I belong?”.Born deaf and being aware of the barriers faced from a young age, Barpaga expresses his experiences of being fitted with hearing aids for the first time, this a surreal, overwhelming encounter – unaware of how to react to it. We hear of how he’s introduced to the learning of British Sign Language (BSL), Barpaga placed into a group with other deaf POC students supported by the Local Authority, he learns to grasp the language by his peers.

We hear of Barpaga’s work history, working hospitality roles behind the scenes before he takes the leap to audition for a local TV broadcaster, to which he lands the role. He expresses a childhood scenario where he’s overtly confronted with racism and the violence that can sadly come from this, as he runs away from a possible attack. We’re taken back to a trip to India, where Barpaga speaks about truly belonging, a culture that naturally expresses themselves via gestures, there’s a common ground. We hear of yet another TV opportunity in which Barpaga lands, but with it learning that he’d need to re-train in BSL at Durham University as the way in which he’s learned had urbanised nuances and it is here where he’s embraced by his fellow class, joining their football team and socials, it is here he learns what it means to be British.

Made in I̶n̶d̶i̶a̶ Britain is honest, we hear of Barpaga’s personal and career ups and downs and how he constantly feels that he’s fighting for representation. The show is an informative and entertaining one, one where I leave having a better understanding of Barpaga’s perspective.

Written by Lucy Basaba.

Made in I̶n̶d̶i̶a̶ Britain is currently showing until Wednesday 17th to Monday 22nd/Wednesday 24th to Monday 29th August 2022 at the Pleasance Courtyard – Pleasance Two. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop