Story by Abhi Arumbakkam

Sarees and Secrets began as a conversation between 3 very different artists. Abhi Arumbakkam from the UK initially reached out to Sumitra Selvaraj in Malaysia, who then roped in Dhinesha Karthigesu (Malaysia) to also join them. Together they began playing around with the initial ideas for a potential collaboration and show. Thus the Sarees and Secrets team was born. 

Each week they gathered to share writing and thoughts with one another. Over the course of months they would find the energy, time and space to keep showing up for their weekly sessions. Sometimes it was a space to check in and brainstorm, other times it was a space to share prompts and write/create together. 

Slowly the threads of a show began coming together that tried to answer the question: why are we compelled to keep secrets and whose secrets do we carry?

Working together collaboratively and almost entirely remote, they began piecing together the various elements that would make up the final show. 

Sarees and Secrets was a one night only Zoom theatrical experience that was attended by audiences from all over the world. It featured interactive moments, live Q&As, theatrical monologues and recorded segments. 

The video below features the team talking about their entire journey from start to finish. Originally scheduled to have been an Instagram Live discussion, the session ended up being separately recorded and it can be viewed here.

The Sarees and Secrets team and their roles: 
Creative Producer: Abhi Arumbakkam (UK)
Director: Dhinesha Karthigesu (Malaysia)
Writer and Performer: Sumitra Selvaraj (Malaysia)

Check out the 3 collaborators via their personal websites: Abhi Arumbakkam, Sumitra Selvaraj and Dhinesha Karthigesu 

Discover more Connections Through Culture collaborations here.

Explore more opportunities from British Council here.