There is Brady Arts Centre plonk right in the middle of social housing blocks, warm and glowing in the street of brown and yellow Autumn leaves. Would that I had such a venue by my estate. I would be at every function, drag in my children and grandchildren, sniff out what’s free and share my home made samosas with the welcoming staff.

The place was buzzing yesterday. The reception staff are just smiley always and there were acting classes going on, a seminar being set up,and felt tip pens all over the place: the mark of activity and creativity. That was just on the ground floor ..and the kettle was on!

I had such a good time last night. It was freezing outside and the bus took longer because it was on diversion. I pushed myself onwards. My day had exhausted me and I just wanted to eat meat; meat in a bun,. meat in gravy, even meat disguised as fat chips. The Burger King had gone, vanished, closed down so I just made do with a packet of crisps. Hungry I entered the arena where I would begin my formal education about Bangla drama and Bangla drama in the UK.

Not disappointed at all. Remember the session would last from 7.15pm prompt until venue closing time 9pm so I knew the two speakers would take us the audience on a whirlwind journey across continents. I wanted to learn about acting troupes in Bangladesh and any vibrant Bangladeshi drama scene in the UK.

I was a volunteer blogger for “A Season Of Bangla Drama” in order to learn about other cultural enterprises.

We were introduced to a book “The Arts Britain Ignores.” by Naseem Khan .

The title of the evening’s event under the umbrella of the current Season Of Bangla Drama in Brady Arts Centre and Rich Mix E1 was”A Comparative Study-History and Development of Bangla Drama in Bangladesh and the UK”.

Our first speaker was Dr Nazneen Ahmed.  She read from her PhD notes about the two forms of drama in East and West Bengal up to 1941; Urban theatre and traditional theatre.  Dr. Ahmed  assumed an academic audience whereas not all of us were up to speed. It is always great to hear experts expound on their work. I was intrigued by some of her statements and wanted to ask more but time was limited and interruptions were many. People’s mobiles went off loudly, people chatted as though we were at a wedding, the Bangla TV photographer was shining his lamp into anyone’s eyes and actually documenting the event by film without asking permission from individuals in the audience. Anything goes? Not on really. I was intrigued that Dr. Ahmed said that in the main drama and in particular Bangladeshi  drama is about people rebelling against the authorities.

I was interested to know that much of the drama of the early 20th Century was shaped by Russian and American theatre. I couldn’t judge the attitude towards that at all except that it was a note of interest that serving military personnel from the USA  formed and produced theatre in Bengal.

The delight of the evening was the modest and softly spoken Dr.Muhammad  Ahmedulla of  the Brick Lane Circle. He went through the London archives about Bangladeshi drama in an east London full of racists and suspicion towards the incoming Bengalis after 1971. This was the east end (now Newham and Tower Hamlets) where women from Bengal and everywhere else kept in their houses and men attended meetings and cultural groups. One could believe that nothing much has changed as last night we were mainly a male and mature audience. Let us at this point remember where stands the Brady Arts Centre. Not so far from mothers and daughters, and in the 21st century.

On the pillars of the Centre are quotes and autographs of the performers guesting in A Season of Bangla Drama. The mural is finished and a worthy climax to a great exhibition about the rise of the Season. (SOBD). It’s colourful, original, street-suited and vibrant in design. Well done artists young and older!

Part 2 to follow. Coronation Street arrived! Now that’s some drama. Well-scripted and excellently acted.