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Dara Film Screening / Panel Discussion

16 March, 2017 @ 5:40 pm - 9:00 pm


Arrival and registration 5.40 pm. Film starts 6pm

You are invited to a film screening of the play Dara, with the kind permission of the National Theatre and Ajoka Theatre Pakistan. Dara was seen by more than 30,000 people over 36 performances in London in 2015, and was the first time a work by a Pakistani theatre company (Ajoka Theatre) had been adapted and staged by the National Theatre. The audiences included many young people from Britain’s Asian communities. Dara is a portrayal of the seventeenth century Moghul Royals the Shah Jahan family and addresses historic debates around religious freedom and practice. Dara created much public debate on the issues of culture, history and religious tolerance. In response to the hugely positive press and audience response, the National Theatre, made a film of the full live performance of Dara, for cultural, educational and arts festival screenings. Some media links on Dara are also below.

The screening will be followed by a Q & A with Tanya Ronder adapter and writer of Dara and Anwar Akhtar Production production consultant to both National Theatre and Ajoka Theatre, chaired by Prof Dibyesh Anand.’

Please note that entrance is on a first come first serve basis and you must register and then arrive on time 5.40pm to be seated as we have a maximum venue capacity. So please attempt to arrive early, late comers may not be able to enter if capacity is reached.

Dara’s Creative Team included Shahid Nadeem writer at the Ajoka Theatre; Nadia Fall, director at the National Theatre, Tanya Ronder, writer and adapter at the National Theatre and Anwar Akhtar production consultant to the Ajoka Theatre Lahore and the National Theatre. Read more about Dara using the press links below:

www.channel4.com/news/dara-mughal-india-pakistan-national-theatre-video – Dara: the tale of two Islams hits the stage –

Peter Tatchell – Daily Telegraph http://eepurl.com/bgqyqr that ‘every child in Britain should see the National’s latest play: – it can reach people that political debate cannot’ The courtroom dialogue is as riveting, tense and chilling as any trial dramatisation I’ve ever seen; rivalling the scenes in To Kill a Mockingbird

www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/jan/29/dara-play-debut-national-theatre The story of Dara, the newest production to take to the boards at the National Theatre, ..begins thousands of miles away from the concrete jungle of London’s South Bank.

www.timeout.com/london/theatre/daraWhere do we find stories about Pakistan… that also affect us in Britain? That’s a question outgoing NT artistic director Nicholas Hytner asked, and this is the epic and often highly affecting response. A magnificently ambitious project…The best scene by far – and one it’s easy to imagine will be studied in schools – is when Dara is brought before the Sharia court in Delhi, and is forced to prove that he is a true Muslim.


I was excited about seeing a play about royal power politics played on an entirely different stage from The James Plays and the endless stream of Henries. But what I didn’t expect was to go see a play that was absolutely in the blazing heart of everything politically aware people are arguing about today. In the wake of Charlie Hebdo, Dara is a must-see show, presenting a 17th century tale of two competing visions of Islam that mirrors almost exactly the questions we are dealing with today.

**Image Courtesy Ellie Kurttz**


Westminster University
Portland Hall
12 Little Titchfield Street, London W1W 7BY United Kingdom
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