Behind The Beautiful Forevers never claimed to represent all of Mumbai’s slums, or even all of Annawadi, where this award-winning work of non-fiction is set. And precisely because the stories in the book are human-sized, they connect. This November, the 2012 book by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boo was adapted for stage by the acclaimed British playwright David Hare and it stars popular TV and film actor Meera Syal.
The book was lauded for its clear-eyed, unsentimental view of the lives it chronicles. The play stays true by, for example, keeping its settings real and not ‘India exotic’. The director and other crew also spent some time in Annawadi so they wouldn’t lose sight of the flesh-and-blood people behind the characters.
Behind The Beautiful Forevers will be staged by the National Theatre in London till April 2015. Nationaltheatre.org.uk