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Counter Offence

Counter Offence
Your Price: $18.99 CDN
Last Copy!
Author: Rahul Varma
Introduction by: Shahrzud Mojab
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 103
Pub. Date: 1997
ISBN-10: 0887545297
ISBN-13: 9780887545290
Cast Size: 3 female, 5 male

About the Play:

HARD TO FIND BOOK, only a very limited number of copies are still available.

Counter Offence is a full-length drama by Rahul Varma. The daughter of Indian immigrants marries a foreign student from Iran. One day their world is turned upside down: she charges him with wife battering and he, in turn, charges the police of being racist in their handling of his arrest. What happens when the "race-card" is used as a ruse to evade responsibility for violence against women?

Counter Offence is a gripping murder mystery that explores the relationship between the police and minorities. When Shazia, the daughter of Indian immigrants, is hit by her Iranian husband Shapoor, he is arrested for domestic violence. Immediately after, things take an unexpected turn. A clever and conniving community activist lawyer, Moolchand Misra unexpectedly steps in and accuses the arresting officer, Alex Martin, who happens to be white, of racism and police brutality. Misra demands an inquiry thus turning a routine domestic violence case into a racially charged issue. The entire police department is up in arms about the inquiry and what they see as a calculated offence being mounted against them. Shapoor is deported and subsequently returns only to be found dead in a hotel room. There are suspects at every turn. In this fascinating whodunnit, Rahul Varma poses questions which are more relevant than ever given the nationwide uproar around the police and their treatment of minorities and the current climate of mistrust.

Counter Offence premiered in 1996 at the Strathearn Intercultural Centre in Montreal. It was presented in 2000 at The Firehall Arts Centre in Vancouver, and in 2017 by Bay Area Drama Company in Sunnyvale, California.

Cast: 3 female, 5 male

What people say:

"Preceding the much-publicised O.J. Simpson case, Counter Offence is evidence that Varma stays at the cutting edge of issues that are significant to a multicultural context... Counter Offence is certainly his best to date, combining psychological insight with dramaturgical complexity." — Uma Parameswaran, Professor of English at the University of Winnipeg

"A play that makes a difference." — Place Publique

"Call it ethnic theatre, call it a message-play, but also call it real and current and in your face. As it spun its tale of an oppressed immigrant man oppressing his wife, it also managed to make the life of a white male critic difficult – it held a mirror up to even the most devout liberal and said, "You still don't get it". You don't see theatre with this kind of merit, in French or in English, very often in this city or any other. It's gutsy theatre that crawls under your skin and blisters the psyche." — Montreal Mirror

About the Playwright:

Rahul Varma is a Canadian playwright and activist. He was born in India, attended college at the University of Lucknow (B.Sc.), moved to Canada in 1976, and worked as a research technician at McGill University in Montreal. He began writing plays in Hindi, but now writes also in English. He is a founding member and was artistic director of Teesri Duniya Theatre, a multicultural theatre group based in Montreal that is committed to producing politically relevant works that address diversity in Canada since 1981.