Niranjan Pal

Location

140 Sinclair Road
London , W14 0NJ
United Kingdom
51° 30' 4.5864" N, 0° 12' 54.3816" W
Other names: 

Nanu Pal

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Date of birth: 
17 Aug 1889
City of birth: 
Calcutta
Country of birth: 
India
Current name city of birth: 
Kolkata
Current name country of birth: 
India
Date of death: 
09 Nov 1959
Location of death: 
Calcutta, India
Location: 

140 Sinclair Road, London

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About: 

Niranjan Pal was the son of the moderate Indian nationalist Bepin Chandra Pal. He came to Britain in the early twentieth century to study in London, and lived in a boarding house with Sukhsagar Datta, Ashutosh Mitter and his father. It was to this boarding house at 140 Sinclair Road in London that David Garnett was invited to by Datta and where he was introduced to Pal, who was also known as Nanu. In The Golden Echo, Garnett described Pal's politics as not clearly defined, but more sympathetic to Indian revolutionaries in contrast to his father's moderate views.

Niranjan Pal later rose to fame as a playwright and then film director and producer. His play, The Goddess, was performed in London in 1922. This play had a successful run, starting at the Duke of York's Theatre on 6 and 7 June 1922, it was then shown at the Ambassador's Theatre and finally moved to the Aldwych Theatre in July 1922. The play was performed 66 times in total and there were plans after the success to form an Indian Repertory Theatre Movement in London.

Niranjan Pal was married to an English woman, Lily, and they had a son called Colin in 1923. Pal then began a collaboration with the lead actor in The Goddess, Himansu Rai, and went to Bombay to produce films. He collaborated with the German silent film director, Franz Osten to film The Light of Asia in 1925 in Bombay, and then became a successful screen-writer for Bombay Talkies film studio in Bombay.

Connections: 

Sukhsagar Datta, David Garnett, Maud MacCarthy (music for The Goddess), Franz Osten, Bepin Chandra Pal (father), Himansu Rai, Devika Rani, Rani Waller (actress in The Goddess)

 

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Reviews: 

The Times, 7 June 1922

The Era, 21 June 1922

The Stage, 22 June 1922 (Reviews of 'The Goddess')

Secondary works: 

Chambers, Colin, A History of Black and Asian Theatre in Britain (London: Routledge, forthcoming)

Garnett, David, The Golden Echo (London: Chatto & Windus, 1953) 

Jaikumar, Priya, Cinema at the End of Empire: A Politics of Transition in Britain and India (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006)

Pal, Colin, ‘The Rise and Fall of Bombay Talkies’, Filmfare, (16-31 December 1983), pp. 24-28, (1-15 January 1984), pp. 24, 26-27, 29

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Archive source: 

The Goddess Programmes, Victoria and Albert Theatre Museum Archive, Earl's Court, London