The Maharajah and the Kohinoor (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

The Maharajah and the Kohinoor

Family-friendly show covering some home truths about the British empire

If you’re not already familiar with Britain’s behaviour towards India during the Victorian era, then prepare to come out of the theatre with any sense of national pride a little bruised. This is a story that deserves to be told; a piece of history lost to modern generations for whom the word ‘colony’ means little more than a family of ants.

Just six years old when the prestigious, yet weighty, title of Maharaja is bestowed upon him, Duleep Singh is too young to recognise the injustice done to him, and the rest of the Punjab, by the British crown and government. The Kohinoor of the show’s title – one of the world’s most precious diamonds – is taken from him and placed in Queen Victoria’s crown jewels, never to be returned.

Performed by two actors, who ably portray a wide cast of characters, the show is a valuable history lesson for both adults and children. But without some kind of pre-show school project to set the scene, there’s just too much here for younger children to take in.

Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until 26 Aug (not 6, 13), 10am, £8–£9 (£5–£6).

Maharajah and the Kohinoor

  • 3 stars

zeroculture. A costume drama for families! Before it became part of the Crown Jewels, the Kohinoor diamond had many keepers, many kings and many emperors, but there was one who was very special … The Young Maharajah. 'Story-telling at its best… One of the festival's finest theatrical moments' (Stratford Herald), 2012).