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In the Native State

In the Native State is a radio play by Tom Stoppard. First broadcast by the BBC in 1991[1] it was later adapted by Stoppard into the stage play Indian Ink.

The original production was first broadcast on BBC Radio Three on April 20, 1991. It was directed by John Tydeman and starred Felicity Kendal and Peggy Ashcroft. It was Dame Peggy's last dramatic performance[2] and Saeed Jaffrey played the role of the Rajah.


The play takes place in two timelines. In 1930 (the year of Gandhi's Salt March) Flora Crewe (Felicity Kendal), a young poet with a somewhat scandalous reputation, travels to India for her health, to deliver a series of lectures on British literary society. She meets an Indian painter, Nirad Das, and agrees to sit for a portrait. Meanwhile in contemporary England another young Indian painter, Anish, goes to visit Mrs Eleanor Swan (Peggy Ashcroft), the sister of Flora Crewe. Eleanor spent much of her life in India before independence, and clearly is deeply attached to it. She and Anish clash over interpretation of Indian history and untangle the relationship of Flora and Nirad.

The title contains a pun on "native", either one of the states of India with its own ruler or nudity (the portrait of Flora was of her in the nude).



  1. ^ "A Tom Stoppard Bibliography". Sondheim Guide. 
  2. ^ Radio Times; August 1992

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