Selkirk man heads over the border to tell tale of epic Indian journey

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AFTER completing a mammoth journey up one of the world’s most famous mountains, a Selkirk man is keen to share his experience with audiences.

And his venue of choice? The Maltings Henry Travers Studio.

Robert Leach will be in town on Saturday, January 29, to give readings from his new book ‘The Journey to Mount Kailash’ but don’t be expecting any fairy tales as as well as penning the book, Robert lived and breathed the experience himself.

Mount Kailash is the Indian Olympus and Robert and a friend saw it for themselves when they journeyed from south India to the Himlalayas.

On their journey they encountered people, festivals, myths and history as they moved through the hills, the cities, mangrove swamps and deserts of the subcontinent, getting ever closer to their magical destination.

Rather than just reading exerpts from the book, which documents his journey in verse and prose, Robert is aiming to give anyone that goes along to the Henry Travers Studio in a few weeks time more of a spectacle.

His story will be set to a soundtrack of Indian music and as he speaks, pictures capturing every step of his journey will be displayed on a screen for all to see.

And Robert is no stranger to all aspects of performance. Educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge University, he has published two collections of poetry: ‘Boy and Baggage’ and ‘Sour Cream’ as well as pamphlets, including ‘Journey Flags’, ‘Dustprints’ and ‘In India’.

He is also a professional theatre practitioner. He has acted in USA and in Moscow and directed the premiere of the controversial and formerly-banned ‘I Want a Baby’ by Sergei Tretyakov.

Robert also founded the three-yearly Lichfield Mysteries festival, one of the biggest community arts events in Europe and his links to the stage don’t end there.

He has also written numerous theatre books, including: The Punch and Judy Show, Revolutionary Theatre, A History of Russian Theatre, Makers of Modern Theatre and Theatre Workshop: Joan Littlewood and the Making of Modern British Theatre which was shortlisted for Theatre Book of the Year 2006.