Stratford Circus Arts Centre in drive to put more British Muslim stories on stage

Stratford Circus is one of two arts centres backing a project aimed at getting more stoires of Briti

Stratford Circus is one of two arts centres backing a project aimed at getting more stoires of British Muslim experiences on stage. Picture: Tomas Januska - Credit: Archant

Two arts centres have teamed up in a bid to get more stories about British Muslims on stage.

Stratford Circus Arts Centre in Theatre Square and Bradford's Kala Sangam Arts Centre are offering seed funding to theatre companies to address the lack of British Muslim stories seen on UK stages.

Tania Wilmer, Stratford Circus director, said "As an arts centre situated in one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs in the country we're acutely aware of the stories that are not being told.

"We're delighted to be working with the Saïd Foundation and Kala Sangam Arts Centre to support three Muslim-led theatre companies to create shows that draw directly from their culture and community."

Artists and companies have been invited to apply for money to create family shows celebrating British Muslim

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So far three theatre companies have been selected to receive £2,000, free rehearsal space and the opportunity to pitch to the Theatre for Young Audiences Consortium in November.

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From these, one company will be offered the opportunity to take their idea to full production and will premiere in London or Bradford in October 2020.

The first production selected for the development phase is Komola Collective, a female led group most of whose members are from a Muslim heritage.

In Teller of Tales - a new take on the classic 1,001 Nights - the company aims to revisit history, seeking new views on women's roles and contributions to society.

The second production, Pet Bird, is a meditation on grief by Jameela Khan, Fabiola Santana and Umar Butt. Jameela is a former scientist turned multi-media artist and theatre director.

The third production comes from Asif Khan whose debut play, Combustion, was nominated for OffWestEnd's best new play and best writer at the Stage Debut Awards.

Jabala and the Jin tells a spooky story about an Eid party that takes a supernatural turn.

Amal - meanin "hope" in Arabic - is a programme of the Saïd Foundation which makes grants in the UK in support of arts projects including storytelling, visual arts, theatre, poetry, film, music and dance. It is helping to fund the project.

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