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War Plays

May 8, 2018 - May 19, 2018

Shakiry War Plays Event image

Set Designed by Rajha Shakiry
Produced by Kali Theatre

WAR PLAYS: Staged readings of 7 compelling new plays inspired by women’s experiences of global conflict spanning Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Tibet, Bangladesh and occupied France.

To mark the 70th year since the ground-breaking Universal Declaration of Human Rights following the end of the Second World War, some of our best and most original voices in new theatre writing tell contemporary stories of courage, hope and determination amid the chaos, suspicion and displacement of war.

This two week festival will feature seven full length new plays plus Saturday afternoon panel discussions with leading female journalists and human rights activists.

Kali’s award winning work by has won rave reviews, sold out performances and inspired audiences all over the UK.

Watch the promotional video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnLc_bHoHwI&t=1s


Tue 8 May 19.30 & Sat 12 May 19.30


Writer Rukhsana Ahmad
Director Helena Bell

Determined to reconnect with his past and obsessed with memories of his long-lost brother, young Afghan refugee Saeed Khattak ventures from London to Kabul.  He is soon caught up in the paranoia, suspicion and violence of contemporary Afghanistan.  Forced to travel from Kabul to Kunduz he must face up to the realities of a changed world.

Sat 12 May 14.30


Writer Nushin Arbabzadah
Director Helena Bell

Layla, a young Afghan woman living in London, is told by her mother that a celebrated Afghan diplomat she saw interviewed on the BBC is a rapist and the murderer of Layla’s father. Pushed by her mother to seek revenge, Layla returns to Kabul only to discover a much darker and more dangerous truth about her own family.

Thur 10 May 19.30 & Thur 17 May 19.30


Writer Azma Dar
Director Poonam Brah

Princess, musician and writer of children’s stories, Noor was recruited by the British Special Operations Executive during World War 2 and sent to Occupied France on a deadly mission as an undercover wireless operator.  After the war, the senior officer in charge of recruiting female agents meets the German Major responsible for hunting them, and they piece together Noor’s story- one of determination, courage and the power of the imagination.

Mon 14 May 19.30 & Fri 18 May 19.30


Writer Bettina Gracias      
Director Rosamunde Hutt

Ama, a feisty Tibetan woman, is fighting to keep her guest house, homeland and traditions. Her son Karma wants her to leave Tibet with him and his Chinese girlfriend, to seek refuge in India near the Dalai Lama where they could live without prejudice. But Ama stubbornly continues to resist the colonisers, and suspects her one guest – a troubled monk – of being a Chinese spy.

Wed 16 May 19.30 & Sat 19 May 14.30


Writer Nimmi Harasgama
Director Pooja Ghai

After being tortured during the Sri Lankan conflict, Krishnaveni has begun a new life in the UK. Here she must live with the stigma of being an asylum seeker and the lingering effects of her experiences. This topical new play is based on real life interviews and stories from victims of torture

Fri 11 May 19.30 & Tue 15 May 19.30


Writer Sayan Kent    
Director Tessa Walker

The 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War triggered genocide, a huge refugee crisis and the mass rape of women and girls. Hecuba Birangona draws on the myths of Hecuba and The Trojan women to tell the story of five women being held in a prison camp.  They have survived the war but as the Indian Army and Freedom fighters approach they must get through one last day…

Wed 9 May 19.30 & Sat 19 May 19.30


Writer Anu Kumar
Director Aileen Gonsalves

January 2017. Maya has come to work as a doctor in a UN Displaced People’s Camp near ISIS controlled Mosul in Iraq.  Initially she feels free to have left England and her obligations there but as she meets local women and joins their journeys she discovers there is more than one form of freedom in the world.

Each Reading is approximately 90minutes 

Speak Out Event – Afghanistan 

Sat 12 May 4.30pm

Award winning journalist Nadene Ghouri will be speaking alongside award winning photojournalist Kate Holt, both of whom have covered war zones for numerous UK newspapers. They will be joined by Elaha Walizadeh, co-founder of Afghan Women in the Diaspora and Dr Ayesha Ahmad,  a lecturer in Global Health with a PhD in ethics, who works primarily in mental health and Gender Based Violence.

Speak Out Event – Sri Lanka                       

Sat 19 May 4.30pm

Director Pooja Ghai and writer Nimmi Harasgama discuss her play My Homemade Kite and the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka.


”…an ambitious black comedy which thrives in its darker moments” The Independent on Ready Or Not

“it will have you on the edge of your seat.”  Whatsonstage.com on The Dishonoured

”Another challenging and thought provoking work from Kali Theatre” Asianculturevulture.com on The Husbands


May 8, 2018
May 19, 2018
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