Award-winning playwright and actor Asif Khan (Combustion, Arcola Theatre; Imaam Imran, National Youth Theatre; Dirty Shiny Bradford, BBC Comedy Room) is taking his show Jabala and the Jinn on a UK tour this spring. This poignant family production was developed with young British Muslim actors and explores grief and friendship through the eyes of young Jabala.
Jabala and the Jinn is an exciting adventure for the whole family, blending physical theatre and music 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). The young British Muslim actors who helped create the show devised and explored the different ideas and themes of grief, family and cultural heritage, championing diverse representation for the stage.
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’s heard about in her grandma’s stories.
Asif Khan says, We hardly ever see theatre involving British Muslim characters or themes, particularly for young children who might be experiencing theatre for the first time. It’s so important to see yourself represented – we underestimate how important that is to children. Seeing the glow on my little boy’s face (aged 4) when we watched the live stream of Jabala and the Jinn from the Belgrade Theatre in March 2021 impassioned me further this play to as many children as possible. I am so excited by the opportunity to tour nationally, especially to my hometown of Bradford. It’s been a difficult time for theatre during the pandemic, but to finally be able to experience our first ever live audiences, is going to be thrilling. I simply cannot wait!
Rosamunde Hutt commented: “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 evocative original music. Nominated for Best Theatre Production Asian Media Awards 2021, Jabala and the Jinn will bring Asif Khan’s witty and delightful perspective to young audiences nationwide.”
The poster image is a specially commissioned illustration by Nadine Kaadan who 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.
For more information on dates and venues, please visit https://www.turtlekeyarts.org.uk/jabala