Silently Hoping by award-winning playwright Iskandar R. Sharazuddin looks at what it means to come from a mixed cultural heritage. A piece exploring identity, class and faith through interpersonal dynamics and character-led writing, it follows a young woman trying to find her place in the world as she delves into Islam’s relationship with queerness and modernity.
Directed by Mingyu Lin, Silently Hoping is an important questioning of identity and multiculturalism told through a unique and personal narrative.
Kalila Masri is a woman on the cusp of thirty and a life-changing decision, will she have a child with her partner, Charlotte? She wants to say yes. She does say yes. But Kalila has always struggled with reconciling her identity as British with being a Muslim. Her mother is concerned she can’t handle it, Charlotte is convinced everything will be fine, and both of them just want Kalila to finally commit to… something. An out of the blue confrontation with her estranged father completely derails Kalila and she is left asking the big existential question: Who am I?
She’s a Londoner, she’s British-Asian, she’s a millennial, she’s fallen in love with a woman, and she’s a Muslim. But what does all that mean and what does she really want? And is it too late to figure that out?
Iskandar commented: “As a mixed-race Southeast Asian-British person, I am very much writing about a personal experience with a cultural and religious identity. I want audiences to walk away considering what a mixed-race experience can feel like. I want them to understand that sometimes the language we use and the things we say can have huge impact on other people and that those impacts can last for a long, long time.”
Iskandar is a British-Southeast Asian playwright and theatre maker; he is an alumna of the Soho Theatre Writers Lab & Criterion New Writing Programme. He is the 2014 recipient of the Soho Theatre Tony Craze Playwriting Award for The Life of Cardboard. In 2015 he was long-listed for the Bruntwood Playwriting Prize in the Top 100 Plays. He has worked in development with Soho Theatre, the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain and the Criterion Theatre (West End). He has been shortlisted for the Old Vic 12, Off West End Adopt a Playwright, and the Bread & Roses Playwriting Award.
Silently Hoping will run at Applecart Arts from Wednesday 27 – Saturday 30 November 2019.