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Medhavi Patel nominated for Best Theatre Actress award…

Medhavi Patel
Medhavi Patel

Townsend Theatre Productions is delighted to announce Medhavi Patel has been nominated for Best Theatre Actress at this year’s Eastern Eye Arts, Culture & Theatre Awards 2018 (ACTA).

Medhavi has been selected as a finalist for her stand-out performance as Grunwick Strike leader Jayaben Desai in the touring production of We Are The Lions, Mr Manager!.

Written by Neil Gore, We Are The Lions, Mr Manager! relives the true story of the Grunwick dispute, a movement which challenged the way unions thought about new immigrant communities coming to the UK in the 1970s.

Since the play made its debut in October 2017 Medhavi has put on stirring performances all over the country, and the company is delighted she has been recognised for her hard work.

We Are The Lions, Mr Manager! finishes its seven-month UK tour at the Brighton Fringe Festival this weekend, and the award nomination is a fitting end to a successful tour.

Now, in its 3rd year, the ACTAs is the leading event recognising the valuable contribution artists of South Asian heritage make to the British arts scene.

The awards will be announced in a ceremony in London on 22nd June.

Medhavi said: “I am delighted and proud to have been nominated as Best Theatre Actress in this year’s Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Awards. Playing the role of Jayaben Desai in We Are The Lions, Mr Manager, has been tremendous, and I am so pleased the play has received such recognition on its tour across the UK.

As an actress from a BAME background, traditionally the roles that are available to us can be limiting. Too often Indian women can be typecast as the subservient housewives, mothers and suppressed daughters, so to play an iconic and strong leader from a Gujarati background has been a true blessing.

“It is hard not to be touched by Jayaben’s story. Like her, my mother worked in factories when my parents first arrived in the UK in the 1970’s, so this story and the many of the other stories of the time about the struggles faced by South Asian women in the workplace resonates with me, my family as well as my community on a many levels.

It has been an honour to relive the story of the Grunwick Strike on stage. Jayaben’s story will continue to inspire me long after the play has stopped touring and I hope this play along with the many other lost stories about strong women leaders can be relived, enjoyed and portrayed to inspire.”

Director Louise Townsend said: “We are delighted Medhavi has been recognised for her exceptional performance as Jayaben Desai in our play We Are The Lions, Mr Manager!, which made its debut in October 2017 and has since toured across the UK.

“The role of Jayaben Desai is no mean feat, but Medhavi has delighted audiences across the country with her phenomenal talent, and she has done Neil Gore’s fantastic script justice. The pair have worked tremendously together to bring the story of the Grunwick Strike to life, and Medhavi has truly captured the spirit of Jayaben.

“We wish Medhavi and the rest of the nominees the best of luck at the ceremony.”

“Amit Roy, chairman of the ACTAs judging panel and Eastern Eye editor-at-large said: “This is our third year and the wealth of nominees for the ACTAs indicate more and more young British Asians are going into the arts. An increasing number, especially in a category such as literature, are also becoming part of the mainstream. This is a heartening trend which we welcome. But there is still much more to be done. We began the ACTAs because we felt British Asian artists, try as they might, were not getting the recognition they deserved. Art, which enhances life, is for all.


1 thought on “Medhavi Patel nominated for Best Theatre Actress award…”

  1. Absolutely well deserved nominations. See this clip to see why it’s well deserved https://youtu.be/4-mQBlX1Zhk
    This play has ignited consciousness how race has morphed to a new form but the issues and challenges facing black workers still are the same.

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