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Roysten Abel



Roysten was born in Kerala, South India.

He graduated from the national school of drama in 1994 and then went to apprentice with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the same year. He came back to India in 1995, founded the Indian Shakespeare Company, and as the name suggests his initial work was lot of Straight Shakespeare. A major turning point in Roy’s life was in 1999 when he devised and directed Othello a play in black and white, which was his first original work. It went on to win the Scotsman fringe first award and since then has toured extensively around the world. This work got him national and international recognition and what followed was a spate of original works, which he conceived and directed. Some of these plays were produced in India and some in Europe.

He then started to work, with out of work street performers (Magicians, Jugglers, Impersonators, Snake charmers, Acrobats, Musicians, Puppeteers etc.) This work got noticed in Italy and he was invited to conceive and direct a play on the Italian Film maker Federico Fellini in Rimini, which is Fellini’s hometown in Italy. In that same winter he came down to India and created a play called The Spirit of Anne Frank, which starred the biggest female stars in the country. Soon after this he went on to do his first feature film In Othello which was his first step into cinema.

Another turning point in his life happened when he discovered the joy of creating theatre with musicians.

He then went on to make two major productions, The Manganiyar Seduction and A Hundred Charmers which have been travelling the world.

Roy then went on to create The Kitchen which he devised with 12 Mizhav drummers and two actors/cooks. This project was commissioned by Sydney Festival, Holland Festival and Auckland Festival.

He recently premiered The Manganiyar Classroom in which he worked with the children of the Manganiyars.

A third part to the Manganiyar Trilogy titled The Manganiyar Express is under rehearsal at the moment.

He is also in the process of setting up a state of the art School for the Manganiyar Children which he hopes will be up and running by 2018.