Why Not Theatre

A Brimful of Asha

Tour Dates here!

Real-life mother and son, Asha and Ravi Jain, share the stage and tell this true (and very Canadian) story of generational and cultural clash. When Ravi takes a trip to India his parents decide it is the perfect time to introduce him to potential brides. Ravi is not sold on the idea of getting married-at least not yet-but Asha fears that time is running out.

Ravi Jain is an award winning actor, director, producer and educator. Ravi and his mother tell their story together, letting us into their personal drama.The show has been a runaway success, selling out several runs in its home city of Toronto, Canada, and playing to sold out crowds across Canada, as well as internationally at the Tricycle Theatre in London, the Signature Theatre in NYC, and the Spoleto Festival in South Carolina.

Creative team:

Written and performed by Ravi and Asha Jain
Directed by Ravi Jain
Set Design by Julie Fox
Lighting and Video Design by Beth Kates (Playground Studios)
Tour Production Manager: Andre Du Toit
Interview Videos by Kate Fraser and Nabil Shash (Heartist Productions)
Producer: Owais Lightwala (Why Not Theatre)

We wanted to get some parents and their kids talking about marriage, here's what they had to say…

What does the title mean?

The title A Brimful of Asha comes from a song written by British alternative rock band Cornershop (www.cornershop.com) in 1997 and is based upon the history of film culture in India. Asha is my mother's name. In Hindi it means Hope. This play is about the challenges that arise out of the hope for happiness that you want for your parents (or for your kids).


“Pioneering in its intimacy and yet unapologetically heartwarming, Ravi Jain’s play is a beguiling blend of old and new styles, which fits the material beautifully.”
The New York Times (USA)

“In the end, its refusal to simplify matters proves the show’s greatest strength. Asha isn’t an overbearing, close-minded mother hen; Ravi isn’t a disrespectful brat or a trapped victim. Instead, their honest narratives reveal they are both brimming with as much love, guilt and confusion as one another.”
The Telegraph (UK)

"I'm a huge theatre fan and like to think I'm pretty discerning. I loved Ravi and Asha Jain's A Brimful of Asha. It was gutsy, it was real, and it hit the heart like a spicy samosa. You don't have to be a single Indian guy with a mother who really wants a daughter-in-law to enjoy it, you just have to be human. My mother also loved it, though she didn't laugh at the same parts I did, strangely."
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi

BBC World Feature Story: "Binders full of women: A mother's plan for arranging a marriage"
BBC World

“It may be told through kitchen-table candour and see-what-I-have-to-deal-with humour, but this is a mythic struggle. As the lights go down, mother and son are still at it: voices locked in un-budging argument, eyes warm with the desire to understand.”
Timeout London (UK)

"A Brimful of Asha at the Tarragon Extra Space is a runaway hit. The added performances keep selling out, and for good reason."
Paula Citron (Canada)

"Fresh, warm family drama – served with samosas - As it turns out, though, the samosas aren’t a tasty bribe but a symbol of what is to come… A Brimful of Asha proves to be a warm, fresh piece of theatre…."
The Globe and Mail (Canada)

"full to the brim with loving, personal admissions"
Now Magazine

"Don’t be fooled by their air of informality, however—this is an artfully crafted piece of theatre."
The Grid TO

"Ravi Jain is a theatre force of nature."
The Slotkin Letter

“this is theatre at its best — intimate, authentic, hilarious.”
Spotlight Toronto

Get the book!

A Brimful of Asha is out in print! You can get it over at the Playwrights Canada Press website, complete with original recipe cards from Asha Jain and actual photographs from the Jain family album used in the show.

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