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Play relives story of 'Naga Queen' Ursula Bower

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A play revisits the incredible story of enthusiast Graham Bower, who lived among the Nagas in the Northeast, stood with them against the Japanese forces during World War II and went on to attain a goddess-like status.

"Ursula: of The Jungle" by saw a remarkable solo performance by Joanna Purslow, who played more than 10 characters including Bower's daughter and revolutionary who took on the British.

The 90-minute play was enacted in the national capital this Monday at the Habitat Centre.

Bower, the aunt of veteran Mark Tully, landed in Laisong village in in 1939. A native named Namkia went on to become her and guide. Namkia addresses Bower as Saipui or female warrior. She became the favourite of the villagers with her personality and also with her occasional doctor-like service, thanks to her picnic basket of medicines.

When the Japanese forces advanced towards in 1944, she led the Army's V Force, a group of scouts comprising local youths, and carried out ambushes.

Bower also found her life partner during the turmoil. She married young

After the war ended, she and her husband settled in Bower died in 1988.

According to Child, Lee made a remarkable effort to bring the story of her mother on stage.

The play was first written for a Shrewsbury school.

Purslow comes up with a spirited performance. If at one moment, she is doing a Namkia, the next second she is an American and the very next a British fighting against the Japanese.

She says playing the part of Namkia was the toughest.

The play was also staged at Laisong village in Dima Hasao district of on December 30.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 10 2018. 15:25 IST