An exploration of beauty and power, autocracy and resistance, and conflicting loyalties. Featuring a heartbreakingly funny and relatable friendship tested, and broken, by extreme and brutal circumstances.
Humayun and Babur are best friends, and guards in Hindustani ruler Shah Jahan’s Imperial Army. They bicker, reminisce about jungle escapades, and have the dubious privilege of standing guard over the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan’s epic tribute to his dead wife, the night before it is revealed to the world as the most potent and powerful personification of beauty.
Humayun, sternly loyal second generation civil servant, is content to follow orders, even when the Emperor, determined that no object more beautiful than the Taj Mahal should ever be built again, has the guards carry out a horrifying task. But sensitive Babur, an imaginative inventor, can only come to terms with the destruction of beauty if he exacts his own powerful vengeance.
Content warning: This production includes the use of blood, theatre haze, coarse language, and simulated violence.
“Imagine the black-humoured banter of Waiting for Godot dressing the bloodiest deeds of Greek tragedy, and you are near the mark of this deeply disturbing and yet engrossing play, stunningly realised in a National Theatre of Parramatta production by first-time professional director Bali Padda.”
“It’s not just that directorial debuts don’t come any stronger than this, few productions of any sort do.”
Sydney Morning Herald
“Sondhi and Caplash imbue their odd couple-esque characters with the perfect amount of individual likeability and collective chemistry, meaning that they can dominate the stage together and on their own. “
“A great lie makes for dynamic and eventful storytelling , and a superb and entertaining ninety minute of live theatre.”
Sydney Arts Guide
If Guards at the Taj raises any concerns for you following the performance, Lifeline offers a 24 hour counselling service and can be reached at 13 11 14 . Additional information can be found on their website, www.lifeline.org.au. Other services which may be of assistance include mental health advocacy organisation, Beyond Blue (www.beyondblue.org.au, 1300 224 636 ) or speak to your local GP or trusted source.
Thursday 24 February 2022 8.00pm PREVIEW
Friday 25 February 2022 8.00pm PREVIEW
Saturday 26 February 2022 8.00pm OPENING NIGHT
Wednesday 2 March 2022 8.00pm
Thursday 3 March 2022 8.00pm
Friday 4 March 2022 8.00pm
Saturday 5 March 2022 2.00pm
Saturday 5 March 2022 8.00pm