Munish Sharma and Nimet Kanji star in the play Mrs. Singh & Me at the Newton Cultural Centre Oct. 2-4.

Actor turns playwright for comedy that explores cultural fear and perceptions

Mrs. Singh & Me comes to Surrey after a successful debut at the Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Fresh off a successful run at the Vancouver Fringe Festival, the South Asian Arts Society presents Mrs. Singh & Me on Oct. 2-4 in Surrey.

Actor Munish Sharma (Iceland, This is War, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Chicken) debuts his skills as a playwright in this dark comedy.

In Mrs. Singh & Me, love is in the air, but Mrs. Kuldeep Singh (Nimet Kanji, whose credits include Bollywood Wedding, The Violet Hour and Continuum) is having none of it.

Her instincts could be right, or she could be missing out on the best son-in-law she could ever ask for – Raj, whose methods are as extreme as his heart is sure.

Directed by Jessie Award-nominee Kathleen Duborg and produced by Gurpreet Sian and Rohit Chokhani, Mrs. Singh & Me confronts cultural traditions and tackles generational differences, along with a generous helping of chai and cookies.

“This has been a fun challenge for me,” says Sharma. “I’ve never written a play before so it has been interesting and exciting to slowly watch the characters come alive. I chose to write this play because we all judge people and ideas that we don’t understand. We fear concepts that are alien to us. I wanted to explore that as a writer and actor. I also wanted to write strong South Asian characters that represent strong cultural perspectives and expose not only South Asian themes, but Canadian themes as well.

“Above all, I hope the audience will interpret this as a play not only about South Asian culture, but about issues we all experience in Canada,” Sharma says.

“It’s a common South Asian story that takes place in the lives of many people,” notes co-producer Sian, a member for the South Asian Arts Society.

He contends the play has a universal theme where relationships are cast aside due to culture, religion and tradition.

“All that darkness aside, it’s still a comedy,” he says.

The response at the Vancouver Fringe Festival in the last two weeks was overwhelming, Sian adds.

“It’s been great, honestly. Five of six shows got standing ovations.”

In Surrey, Mr. Singh and Me will be performed on Oct. 2 and 3 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., and on Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Newton Cultural Centre (13530 72 Ave.)

Tickets are $20, available online at mrssingh.eventbrite.ca or in person at Kamal’s Video Palace, 8268 120 St. in Surrey.

For more information, visit www.southasianarts.ca