A NEW PLAY BY ASIF KHAN, FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES. PRODUCED BY TURTLE KEY ARTS AND AIK PRODUCTIONS.
“I want to share my culture and experiences“ Asif Khan – Writer
THE WRITER, DIRECTOR AND ACTORS SPEAK ABOUT THE PLAY.
We are in Bradford.
It’s been a few months since Jabala’s beloved Mum died. Dad is a brilliant father, but it’s an effort to get to school on time every day. One morning before school, Jabala hears a voice replying to her in Arabic. But no one’s there. Could it be Mum? Has she imagined it?
With the help of a new ‘Refugee Boy’ at school, a Shakespeare enthusiast called Munir, she summons a Jinn. But this is no ordinary ‘Jinn’, as told in grandmas’s stories. She’s a cheeky, street smart, bundle of fun.
As the day of Eid approaches and the three become the best of friends, events take a drastic turn and Jabala is forced to make some difficult decisions.
Will things come together before the day of Eid?
Using physical theatre, music and new writing to tell the story of a little girls playful and adventurous encounter with a very cheeky Jinn.
Why programme Jabala and the Jinn?
“I want to share my culture & many experiences“ Asif Khan – Writer
Asif is an award winning playwright, actor and father to a 3 year old boy. Born and bred in Bradford he has a passion to create stories from his own experience, growing up as a Muslim in Britain. He particularly would like to develop new stories for younger audiences, which include Muslim characters, in order for children from those communities to feel represented and have their experiences shared.
He and the team are equally interested in ensuring that children for whom this is not their direct experience will watch a story that introduces a new magical being as well as a wonderful family of characters that any child can relate to.
As part of the development process (supported by Stratford Circus, Kala Sangam and Amal Foundation) we worked with young British Muslim actors. Together with director and children’s theatre expert Rosamunde Hutt, they spent a week of devising and exploring the ideas/themes Asif brought forward. This eventually led to this authentic, exciting, imaginative and funny new play.
Why this story now?
“We don’t see much theatre, drama, stories about British Muslims. But particularly for this age group (5-8 years). Children who are experiencing theatre for the first time. Seeing something that that they can relate to will bring them back to the theatre again. It’s so important to see yourself represented. I know growing up I didn’t have that and we underestimate how important that is to children” Asif Khan - Writer
About Asif Khan:
Asif is an award winning writer and actor, born and raised in Bradford. His debut play COMBUSTION toured the UK in 2017 and was nominated for OffWestEnd’s Best New Play award and Best Writer in the Stage Debut Awards. It also Won Best Production at The Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Awards (2018) and at The Asian Media Awards (2017). In 2018, Asif Won the Channel 4 Playwright’s Scheme Award with RIFCO and Watford Palace Theatre, where he was commissioned to develop a new play. In 2019, his play IMAAM IMRAAN was produced by the National Youth Theatre, playing at the Bradford Literary Festival. He is a Tamasha Theatre Alumnus with whom he has developed two plays for teenagers. He was part of the BBC Comedy Room in 2017 and was named on the BBC New Talent Hotlist in 2017.
With Turtle Key Arts, Asif co-produced the award winning play Love, Bombs and Apples by Hassan Abdulrassak, directed by Rosamunde Hutt, which played at the Arcola Theatre (London), Edinburgh Festival (Summerhall), Potrero Stage (San Francisco), The Kennedy Center (Washington DC) as well as a UK Tour.
About Rosamunde Hutt:
Rosamunde has created an extensive body of work for young audiences, producing and directing new plays for young people for 30 years. She has directed over forty five shows for young audiences, many of which have won new writing awards and have been produced all over the world. She has led or co-led two of the longest standing UK companies which create theatre for young audiences, Theatre Centre, Director, 1993 -2007 and the Unicorn, Associate Artistic Director, 2007-2011. She has a track record of commissioning BAME writers including Roy Williams, Benjamin Zephaniah, Oladipo Agboluaje, Amber Lone and Afia Nkrumah and leading children’s writers including Charles Way, Mike Kenny, Philip Osment and Noel Greig.
Rosamunde’s international work for young people includes co-producing and directing the Indian tour of Anupama Chandrasekhar’s The Snow Queen (Trestle, British Council), playing to over 3500 people, as part of a strategic project to develop children’s theatre in India; co-leading workshops on young people’s theatre in Japan (JIENKHYO); and directing Charles Way’s The Snow Queen for Romania’s leading children’s theatre company (Theatre Ion Creanga), shown on Romanian National Television on Christmas Day 2015. Her productions for young audiences have also been seen in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.
Recent credits for children include productions for Polka Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, AJTC/York Theatre Royal, and Dragon Breath Theatre. She is invited regularly to speak on young people’s theatre most recently for JumpStart Festival in Delhi and the Youth Theatre Festival 2016 in Athens. She edited Theatre Centre Plays for Young People, Aurora Metro Press, 2003.
About Turtle Key Arts:
Turtle Key Arts produce and devise original and ground breaking art to entertain and inspire, we believe that access to the arts helps to improve the quality of life. Our mission is perfectly articulated in our latest report by our CEO .
“As I have travelled the country and further afield with our work I have been strongly reminded of the impact that art has on communities. Art enables and creates opportunities, bringing people together regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion or disability. When I look at the work that we do, I know that it sits at the heart of our ethos. Our team work tirelessly with care, dedication and passion and it brings us, our work and communities together as a family. We care and we deliver and for that I am so proud and grateful.” Alison King – Chief Executive
In the past year our work has reached an audience of 48,115; we employed 416 artists; involved over 1100 participants, produced 7 tours, travelled to 11 countries, delivered 185 performances and ran 250 workshops as part of 23 participation projects & held 14 relaxed performances.
Our work was seen in San Francisco, Washington, Seoul and Avignon. We also celebrated 10 years of our flagship Turtle Song project for people with dementia and their carers.
This collaboration with AIK represents a wonderful opportunity for Turtle Key Arts and our future partners. We are excited by the wider implications of this project – the chance to bring theatre to a new generation of children who may not otherwise experience it and the introduction of a new story to mainstream audiences which will allow them a glimpse into an aspect of British culture that not all of them may be familiar with.