An epic Punjabi love story about two ill-fated lovers, Sohni Mahiwali (right) is both a classic and a weepie. To save you reading the text, or having to endure the technicoloured three-hour video version, Watermans Arts Centre will be staging an hour-long cross-cultural version of the story on the banks of the Thames this week. Without giving too much away, the plot goes something like this: a rich man and a poor man go to a soothsayer both begging for their wives to be blessed with a child. They are told that the poor man will have a girl (Sohni), the rich guy a boy (Mahiwal) but, unfortunately, both children will die tragically through love. The two grow up, fall madly in love but, for various reasons, cannot marry. It is on Sohni's wedding night (not to her sweetheart) that the couple are reunited forever in water and, as the soothsayer predicted, come to a bad end.

The project is funded by a London Arts Board grant of pounds 20,000 and is a collaboration between six artists who promise to make it a spectacle of sound, colour, dance and drama. The piece, directed by Harmage Singh Kalirai, includes Kathak dancers performing on huge waterlillies floating downstream, coloured water cascading from magnificent glass sculptures and assorted pyrotechnics. The flautist, Keith Waithe, heads the musical line-up accompanied by Gary Crosby. Alpana Sengupta, the renowned Indian dancer, creates a new dance work specially for the event, while the Punjabi Theatre Academy adds an element of authenticity by doing what it does best - performing in Punjabi.

The whole event takes place outdoors and the audience is advised to bring a cushion or an umbrella - whichever is more appropriate. Add handkerchiefs to the list and let's hope that the gods don't cry as well.

'Sohni Mahiwal' 11-14 Aug outside

Watermans Arts Centre, 40 High Street, Brentford, Middx (081-568 1176).

Tickets pounds 7.50, under-18s pounds 4.50

(Photograph omitted)

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