Wednesday, 4 November 2009

'What Fatima Did' at the Hampstead Theatre

Hampstead Theatre World Premiere
A Hampstead Theatre Production

What Fatima Did…

by Atiha Sen Gupta  
22 October - 7 November 2009

 This sounds a fascinating play which presses many topical buttons at the moment:
"Fatima Merchant is feisty and strong-willed.

At 17, she drinks, smokes and parties. On the eve of her 18th birthday, without word or warning or explanation, she adopts the hijab.

Suddenly, to her friends and family she is no longer the Fatima they thought they knew.

What Fatima Did... is a funny and provocative exploration of attitudes to identity, freedom and multiculturalism in contemporary London.

Hampstead Theatre has championed the work of Atiha Sen Gupta since she joined the theatre’s young company, Heat&Light, in 2003. She has written with Roy Williams and Tanika Gupta for Hampstead’s new writing festivals – Daring Parings 1 and 2. Now, her first solo full length play, commissioned when Atiha was 17, forms the centrepiece of Daring Pairings 3."

 The author herself hails from an interesting background - in an interview with the London Evening Standard we're told:

"As it turns out, she isn't Muslim and her parents are not religious. Her accountant father is half-Sri Lankan, half-white. Her Indian-born mother, Rahila Gupta, is a political journalist and activist for Southall Black Sisters (her co-authored book Circle of Light, about a real-life case of domestic violence, was made into the film Provoked, starring Aishwarya Rai)."

It's has some sizzling reviews - I wish I had heard about this earlier, still we have until Saturday...

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