Award-winning playwright and actor Asif Khan (COMBUSTION, Arcola Theatre; IMAAM IMRAAN, National Youth Theatre; DIRTY SHINY BRADFORD, BBC Comedy Room) will bring the digital premiere of his family show Jabala and the Jinn to Belgrade Theatre in a live streamed spectacular. The event will also include a post-show Q&A with the cast and creative team, looking at the impact of Muslim representation in stories for young audiences. A recording of the performance will be made available to stream on demand from Wednesday 31st March to Saturday 24th April via the theatre’s website.
When Jabala thinks she hears the voice of her dead mother, it is up to her and the new refugee boy at school – a Shakespeare enthusiast called Munir – to uncover the truth and summon the Jinn. However, this is no ordinary Jinn, not like anything she had heard about in her grandma’s stories.
Blending physical theatre, music and new writing under the direction of Rosamunde Hutt (LOVE, BOMBS & APPLES, winner of outstanding Production at Theatre Bay Area Awards, San Francisco; THE SNOW QUEEN, Hindu Metro Plus Theatre Festival), Jabala and the Jinn is an exciting adventure for the whole family, exploring grief, friendship and the mystical powers of a genie. The production was developed with young British Muslim actors, helping to devise and explore the different ideas and themes, championing diverse representation for the stage.
Asif Khan said: “We don’t see much theatre or stories about British Muslims, particularly for this age group (5-8 years). These are children who are experiencing theatre for the first time, so 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 can underestimate how important that is to children.”
Rosamunde Hutt added: “I’m delighted that despite these extraordinary times we are able to reach out to children and families with this play by award winning writer Asif Khan. Jabala and the Jinn is funny, poignant and full of heart, featuring three children who revel in the unexpected and face jeopardy and change with resilience and optimism. To complete the mix we’ve got a vibrant set and lighting design and witty evocative original music. We’re thrilled to be premiering this brand new play at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry.”
The poster image is a specially commissioned illustration by Nadine Kaadan who recently featured in the BBC’s list of 100 inspiring and influential women of 2020.
Jabala and the Jinn is presented by AIK Productions and Turtle Key Arts in association with Belgrade Theatre Coventry, supported by Kala Sangam.
Jabala and the Jinn is live streaming on Saturday 27 March at 3pm, and is available to stream Wednesday 31 March – Saturday 24 April 2021.
Illustration by Nadine Kaadan