Parv Bancil

We were shocked to hear of the sudden death in April 2017, aged only 50, of Parv Bancil, playwright, member of the Hounslow Arts Co-operative (HAC); the comedy team One Nation Under a Groove, and musician with comedy band The Dead Jalebis. HAC gave voice to a generation of urban Asian youth, growing up with punk and committed to finding new energised and subversive forms to express their experience.  Fellow HAC member Poulomi Desai describes a company doing street theatre, publishing a zine, creating spoof bands, as well as putting on shows like Parv’s and Ravinder Gill’s Curse of the Dead Dog, that toured London, their influences ranging from Funkidelicate Parliament to political poets to science fiction. She describes their being accused in the community ‘of washing dirty laundry in public’ while the few Asian officers around at the time didn’t get what they were doing’. Parv Bancil went on to write acclaimed plays like Nadir (radio, 1991), Bad Company (1991, Tara Arts,  Papa Was a Bus Conductor’ (1995), Crazyhorse (1997, Paines Plough), Ungrateful Dead and Bollywood or Bust. For further information Suman Bhuchar’s obituary in Asian Culture Vulture.