October 1992

Women of the Dust

by Ruth Carter, directed by Kristine Landon-Smith

On a dusty Delhi construction site, an itinerant, all-female workforce are gathered. They hail from Rajasthan, where yet again the rains have failed, there is nothing to harvest, and their stomachs are empty. The Jamadar (middle man) has brought them here to work for a fat cat building luxury flats for India’s super rich.

Asha waits to give birth to her first child – her time is near, but there is no money. Lali, a child bride wedded at four, awaits life with a husband she cannot recollect. Nisha and Mohini, the privileged Bose sisters, run a rural development programme – they no longer see eye to eye and wonder which way to turn.

Commissioned by Oxfam to mark their 50th anniversary, WOMEN OF THE DUST, a bold portrayal of migrant Indian life, went on to perform in Delhi and Mumbai, marking Tamasha’s first international tour.


Director Kristine Landon-Smith

Designer Sue Mayes

Lighting Designer Lorraine Laybourne

Composer & Musical Director John O’Hara

Original Cast

Sudha Bhuchar

Shiv Grewal

Niki Jhutti

Shobu Kapoor

Jamila Massey

Rehan Sheikh

Dinesh Shukla

Nina Wadia