ABSTRACT

This article contextualizes the work of British playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti beyond the so-called Behzti affair of 2004. Bhatti’s use of her Sikh faith goes beyond just that one moment and play and beyond mere criticism of religious hypocrisy among male Sikh elders. The author uses Behzti to lay a historical and theoretical groundwork, but the entirety of the second part of this essay covers her underappreciated plays Behud (Beyond belief), Khandan (Family), Elephant, and A Kind of People. Hers is a two-decade career in which religion has always played a significant role, whether it be set in a gurdwara or in a middle-class suburban home. Her plays use religion for more than just thematic material, utilizing on sacred texts, symbols, and rituals. In the end, however, her religiously informed dramaturgy is present even in her most recent play, which does not feature a single Sikh character.

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