Danny Ashok and Darren Kuppan star in Guards At The Taj at the Bush Theatre (Photo: Marc Brenner)
Danny Ashok and Darren Kuppan star in Guards At The Taj at the Bush Theatre (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Full casting announced for Guards At The Taj

Published February 28, 2017

Casting has today been announced for the European premiere of Guards At The Taj, written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph and directed by Jamie Lloyd.

Danny Ashok (Disgraced, Bush Theatre; Capital, BBC) will play Humayun and Darren Kuppan (East is East, West End/ UK Tour) will play Babur. This darkly comic play will open the 2017 season at the Bush Theatre, following its major £4.3m capital project to revitalise the building.

Guards At The Taj takes an enduring legend about the Taj Mahal and prompts audiences to explore questions about art, privilege and duty. The play premiered at the Atlantic Theater in New York to great acclaim in 2015 and is the recipient of both the Obie Award for Best New American Play and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play.

“If we hadn’t done our jobs tonight, we’d be hanging by our necks in the royal courtyard.” It’s 1648, Agra, India. Imperial guards Humayun and Babur keep watch as the final touches are put to the mighty Taj Mahal behind them. The emperor has decreed that no one, except the masons, labourers and slaves who exist within those walls, shall turn to look at the building until it is complete.

Guards At The Taj is written by Rajiv Joseph, directed by Jamie Lloyd and designed by Soutra Gilmour. Lighting design is by Richard Howell, with sound design and music composed by George Dennis. Fight direction is by Kate Waters.

Danny Ashok’s credits at the Bush Theatre include the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced, which transferred to Broadway and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. Most recently at the Bush he appeared in Zaida and Aadam, part of last season’s This Place We Know. Elsewhere his theatre credits include The Djinns of Eidgah (Royal Court), Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (Theatre Royal Bath) and Blood and Gifts (National Theatre). He most recently appeared in the International Emmy Award-winning BBC Drama Capital.

Darren Kuppan most recently appeared on stage in The Tempest (Shakespeare’s Globe). Previous credits include Cymbeline (Shakespeare’s Globe), as Maneer Khan in East Is East (West End/ UK Tour), An August Bank Holiday Lark (Northern Broadsides), England Street (Oxford Playhouse), Great Expectations (English Touring Theatre/ Watford Palace), Rafta Rafta (Bolton Octagon/ New Vic Stoke), and the lead in Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Aladdin.

Jamie Lloyd (director) has directed many productions in the West End for The Jamie Lloyd Company, including Doctor Faustus, The Maids, The Homecoming, The Ruling Class (Evening Standard Award for Best Actor for James McAvoy), Macbeth (Olivier nomination for Best Revival), The Hothouse, Richard III and The Pride. He won the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical for Passion while he was Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse (2008 to 2011) and the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for The Pride (Royal Court). 

Rajiv Joseph (playwright) became a Pulitzer Prize finalist (2010) for his Broadway play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, which starred Robin Williams in his Broadway debut, while Soutra Gilmour (designer) is an award-winning designer whose extensive credits include many productions in collaboration with Jamie Lloyd.

For more information and to book your tickets, visit the venue’s website.