Rise Against Fanaticism Through the Arts 

 Sohaya Visions and Mukul & Ghetto Tigers

Winning Scripts

 

The winner, 'ALLAH'S OWN COUNTRY,' by Kaamil Shah was awarded £1,000 to take work to the stage with Sohaya Visions and Mukul & Ghetto Tigers 

 

5 runner-up scripts have been selected for a reading with professional actors in London.

 

10 commended scripts will be read as part of RAFTA festival 2022.
 

RAFTA festival Saturday March 19th-Friday April 1st 

Winning Script's Stage Performance

ALLAH'S OWN COUNTRY

by Kaamil Shah
directed by Mukul Ahmed


 

Live R&D Presentation with post-show Q&A

Friday 1 April 2022, 7.30pm GMT

Rich Mix, London E1

Book tickets at Rich Mix Box Office


 

Nabeel Ahmed always dreamed of Michelin stars and Celebrity-chef status but was never able to get anywhere beyond his lowly curry house in Bradford. His daughter Saira’s conversion to militant veganism spurs an idea for the world’s first fully sustainable, farm-to-table Indian restaurant in the Yorkshire countryside. But with Halal meat considered barbaric in her eyes, will the “Tandoor on the Moor” be enough to salvage their relationship?

 

Kaamil is a writer for film, TV and theatre, passionate about telling the stories of the Indian and Pakistani diasporas. He has written for the BBC, ITV and ViacomCBS amongst others and is a member of the 2021-22 Theatre 503 Five. His script, ALLAH’S OWN COUNTRY, was also a runner-up for the Soho Theatre Verity Bargate Award.

This research and development performance will be followed by a Q&A with cast and crew.

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About RAFTA 

Inspired by their theatre production, TERROR Sohaya Visions and Mukul & Ghetto Tigers launched a scriptwriting competition, RAFTA (Rise Against Fanaticism Through the Arts).
 

TERROR's protagonist,  Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain received several posthumous awards for his bravery against violent extremism on July 1st 2016 at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka.

 

This competition was held in honour of the memory and has the principal aim of tackling the rise of fanaticism through artistic expression.

'Calendar of Events' Available Here
Please scroll below for booking links
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Hysterical! Very timely. Sometimes I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry!
Audience Member

‘Thank you for putting in all the hard work to promote the work of these talented artists, I can't wait to see more.’

Audience Member

 

'The acting and direction were outstanding. I also enjoyed the Q&A afterwards. Very insightful questions '
Audience Member

'The scripts were varied, took me into different worlds of perceptions and viewpoints and also the power of hearing different languages and cultures.'

Audience Member

‘RAFTA was a great experience that allowed me to participate, observe, listen and gain a variety of global insights into artistic viewpoints of fanaticism.
Audience Member

Readings of Semi-Finalists' Scripts

All readings are 60 minutes in length followed by Q&A, Suitable for ages 12+, timings are GMT

BULLET SONGS by Linsey Andrews

Saturday 26 March, 7pm

Online Reading with Q&A- Book Here

 

 

 

 

 


 

Replete with anthems from right to left, backward to progressive, this is innovative theatre on songs that have become ‘anthems’ for different groups of people over the last couple of centuries. Ambitious as it is experimental, it throws in nationalists with racist cops and corrupt government officials with their regular fanfare, along with those who defy them to the tune of Sylvester, Fela Kuti and Billie Holiday.

 

Linsey began writing plays with Scottish Youth Theatre. He was award-shortlisted for a short plays production at Brighton Festival, and his last two full-length plays reached the later stages of the Papatango, followed by professional cast readings online in 2020/21. He is also a published poet and story writer.

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THE GRAND MARCH by Pooja Sivaraman

Sunday 27 March 4pm
Online Screening with Q&A- Book Here


 

Written in homage to the many who lead the dedicated fight against fascism and fanaticism in India, THE GRAND MARCH chronicles recent events from the military clampdown of Kashmir, the anti-Muslim riots, the pogrom in New Delhi, and the migrant labour crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. With stories of fervour, bloodshed, and an appeal for the truth: although the play is fiction, very little of it is made up.

 

Pooja is a Bombay-born, London-based artist, activist, and academic. She has an interest in crafting theatrical worlds that re-imagine history and its many fractures. With a background in journalism and film, her writing is informed by current events and driven by the need to tackle oppressive political structures. She is a graduate of the Royal Court’s Intro Writer's Group and works as a playwright, actor, and drama facilitator.

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MABRUKA’S LAMENT by Marc Littman

Sunday 27 March 2022, 7pm

Online Reading with Q&A- Book Here

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Touching upon Yazidi and Sunni tensions in the deserts of Iraq at a time before ISIS came in on the scene, MABRUKA’S LAMENT is both a seductive romance and a Shakespearean tragedy.  Mabruka is a Yazidi teenager who tries to navigate the great weights placed on her as a woman and a carrier of family and community honour after she meets a mysterious man.

 

Marc, a former journalist, is an emerging playwright who writes about topical issues from the homeless to climate change. He is a member of Theatre West in Los Angeles. As the son of a Holocaust survivor, MABRUKA’S LAMENT resonates with him on a deeply personal level.

END OF THE LINE by Megan Hoche

Monday 28 March, 7pm 

Online Reading with Q&A- Book Here

A comedic yet razor-sharp look at systemic racism in America and the role privilege plays in perpetuating that system. Set in New York, this fast-paced play focuses on the energetic city lives of diverse people – white, black, and Muslim. It covers xenophobia and white nationalism during Trump’s era while seeking to create fundamental shifts in blinkered worldviews.

 

Born and raised in New Jersey, USA, Megan is a two-time semi-finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, and several of her plays have had full productions and staged readings in New York City. Her play, A PERIOD PIECE, is published through Next Stage Press.

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FASCISTS AND THE PEOPLE WHO KILL THEM

by Kyle A. Smith

Tuesday 29 March, 7pm

Online Reading with Q&A- Book Here

 


 

A dark fascistic comedy set in the Democratic Democracy of Libertaria in the not too close but not so distant future. A family’s patriarch tries to get his dysfunctional family to act normal. But his gay son, dark-skinned wife, and daughter with socialist sympathies are the bane of the all-seeing, all-knowing government. Their efforts are foiled by their alpha-male sentinel who relishes killing for the state but dreams of being a dancer.

 

Kyle’s plays include THE PART OF ME (MadLab Theatre, Graeae Theatre, Princess Grace Finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Festival Semi-Finalist), UNSTUCK IN TIME (No Frills Theater), BLINDED (O'Neill Semi-finalist), WHITEOUT (Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries Semi-Finalist), MISS DIRECTION (Adelphi University, Queen’s Theater), MISS ORIENTATION (Adelphi University), and MISS DIAGNOSIS (Finalist STE Festival).  MFA: NYU, DDW.

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Wednesday 30 March,  7pm-8.30pm 
Book Here

 

A panel of experts discuss how theatre and the arts in general are and can be used to creatively counteract the rise of fanaticism across the world.

RAFTA Conversations

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Chaired by Raminder Kaur, RAFTA co-producer, writer, Artistic Director of Sohaya Visions, and researcher based in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex and research fellow at the Max Weber Centre, University of Erfurt.

 

Christine Bacon is Artistic Director of ice&fire, the only theatre company that places the human rights issues of the day at the core of its work. 

 

Lisa Goldman is a writer, Artistic Director and joint Chief Executive of two new writing theatre companies, The Red Room (1995-2006) and Soho Theatre (2006-10).

 

Abdul Shayek is the Artistic Director of Tara Theater. He is a member of the British Council’s Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group, and a trustee of The Space and mid-Wales dance company Impelo.   

 

Vik Sivalingam has been associated with LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) since 2015 as a freelance director. In his current position, he directs and teaches across a range of LAMDA’s acting programmes.  

 

Alda Terracciano is an artist/researcher, curator, director, and activist, who has worked with diverse communities in Britain and internationally including in Italy, Brazil, Portugal, Morocco, India and China.  

 

Journal Special Issue Launch: ‘Global Black Lives Matter’ in Darkmatter

Thursday 31st March, 7pm-8.30pm
Online Discussion- Book Here

 

Scholars and artists discuss their contributions to a special issue on race, racism and visual and performance cultures in the international open access journal, darkmatter. Participants consider viral videos, murals, graffiti, performance activism, tumbling statues, and Black Atlantic films among other examples as part of empowering audio-visual-digital narratives that contribute to the rising momentum against institutional racism - on the backs of the legacies of colonialism, slavery and exploitation across the world. From the Rhodes Must Fall movement that started in South Africa, the townships of Johannesburg, the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and Black Lives Matter in US and UK. 

With Giulia Grassilli,Raminder Kaur, Ashwani Sharma, Malcolm James,Damani Partridge

Film still: AfriCompleXCities by Fatou-Seydi Sarr. by Damani Partridge

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Commendations-Online Readings

All readings are 60 minutes in length followed by Q&A, Suitable for ages 12+, timings are GMT

RESERVOIR RAMI by Shazia Ashraf

Saturday 19 March, 7PM

Book Here

Written after the murder of MP Jo Cox by a member of the far right party, Britain First, in 2016, Reservoir Rami is a comical look at angry working class men, the Four Lions for theatre. Frustrations to do with a lack of opportunity and money trigger anger in the form of intolerance, violence, racism, and some accidental capers.

 

Shazia is a Wakefield-based writer and director who often writes working class stories with the Pakistani community in Yorkshire at the heart of it. 

DEMAGOGUERYNESS by J.R. Spaulding Jr
Sunday 20 March, 4pm

Book Here

A stylised satire with over-the-top characters, and dialogue that often devolves into absurd-esque humor that veils dangerous socio-political truths. At heart, DEMAGOGUERYNESS is a story about the cyclical ineptitude of governments all across the world.  As such – and fittingly so – not much actually happens during the play. Regardless, they love to hear themselves talk.

 

J.R. Spaulding Jr. received an M.A. in theatre history from Michigan State University where his mentor, Frank Rutledge, once told him with great sincerity, “Dionysus weeps for you.”  

BRICKS by Ron Radice

Sunday 20 March, 7pm

Book Here

Petey and Patti pass another mundane evening when a brick is thrown through their window. While they appear to be under siege, someone begins a loud knocking at their front door. The unexpected visitor, Mr. P of Middle Eastern descent, says he has been called to help them and to hopefully find some sanction for himself. After various exchanges, a mock trial is convened. Who is Mr P? How does he know so much about the couple? Was he connected to the bricks or the vandals that threw them?

 

Ron has had plays performed in seventeen US states since 2007. Ron received a 1st place award for his play from Writer’s Digest in 2019. He is currently working on another full length entitled BLINDSIDED, and recently finished his first novel.

CASSANDRA REVERSED by Jasmine King
Monday 21 March, 7pm 
Book Here

When old orders fall, revitalisation movements like Nazism, Communism and ISIS rise up to save their societies and lead them to what they consider is a new heaven on earth. Colonel Reid is a speaker for a new party called the Movement fighting to save her country from the globalists. She has just won a crucial debate, which will bring them victory in the election. But then she is handed a prophesy warning her that she will murder her own son if she does not leave the Movement.

 

Yasmine wrote this play because of her love of Greek drama and Shakespeare, and an urge to prove that tragedy is not dead. Based in the UK, this is her first play for theatre.

HURDLES by David Pearson
Tuesday 22nd March 7pm

Book Here

 

 

Omar is a gifted athlete with hopes to compete for Team GB in the hurdles at the Olympic Games. After surviving a violent and traumatic childhood in Somalia, he seeks asylum in England and finds an intolerant country hostile to his existence there. A young, talented runner with the world at his feet, he fights to define who and what he is on his own terms.

 

David has had plays performed in Bedford, Reading and London, including a monologue staged at the Camden Fringe Festival, and has been shortlisted for opportunities at theatres including the Arcola and Southwark Playhouse in London.

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UTOPIA by Grant Foxon
Wednesday 23 March, 7pm online

Book Here

Set during the years of the Holocaust in the 1940s, a Jewish uprising occurs in a concentration camp. The  inmates kill the guards and take control of the camp. Do they execute the camp commander Stilz and his wife Anya in revenge? Or do they demonstrate that fairness and humanity can exist during the most desperate of circumstances?

 

Grant is a self-identifying autistic writer who is keen to undermine stereotypes of autism such as being incredible at maths and drawing.

WEST COUNTRY ORIENTAL GENTLEMAN by Jaisal Marmion

Thursday 24 March, 7pm

Book Here

A young Indian nationalist, Sanjay, has to decide on whether to assassinate Queen Victoria along with his Irish comrade, Evie, as payback for the many atrocities committed by the British. Indian-born but British-educated, Sanjay finds himself torn between loyalty to the country of his birth and his adopted new country. Who are the extremists here? Imperialists or those who resist them? Does Sanjay have the gall to shoot the Queen?


Jaisal is a playwright, poet and musician. His work is primarily concerned with interrogating questions of identity, multiculturalism and stories related to the Indian and Irish diasporas. Previous work for stage and radio includes DRINK UP YOUR EMPTY SELVES, DOGMAN, and KIDS.
 

HOME by Tony Chapman

Friday 25 March, 7pm
Book Here

 

HOME is based on interviews with 38 people who came to the UK from 17 different countries who told their stories of why they made their homes here. Alongside news footage and music, it covers racism, arranged marriages, knife crime, Islamophobia, Windrush and cricket. The play seeks to promote tolerance and understanding with equal measures of anger and humour.

 

Tony has been involved in many community plays with Questors Theatre in London, having written two full-length “reminiscence” plays (this and one on football) and co-written a third. He co-founded and wrote for The Man in the Moon fringe theatre. He has completed a state-of-the-world novel, and is currently working on a play about statues.

 

MAATBRING by Sadhana Ahmed (original in Bangla; English translation by Abdus Selim)
Saturday 26 March, 2pm 

Book Here

Forest dwellers of Bangladesh, Kanu and Mitti, from the Garo hill tribe fall in love. Around them government and corporate landgrabbers turn their world upside down in their fanatical zeal to profit from their land with the mantra of development.  Instead of growing their food, Garo people have now got to earn money to feed themselves. While Kanu follows Mittu into the town to make a living, their ancestral homes are flattened and turned into a tourist resort.

 

Sadhana has written thirteen plays staged by several theatre groups of Bangladesh and India, along with three screenplays. Her play, ANGUSHUPOT UPAKKHAN, is included in the Bangla literature syllabus of Kazi Nazrul University in India. She scripted the film BANGABANDHU based on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s life, the father of the nation of Bangladesh.

AGATHE by Angela J. Davis

SPECIAL COMMENDATION

Saturday 26 March, 4.30pm
Book Here

In the spring of 1994, a plane crash takes the life of an African president and ignites a killing spree that the world will later recognise as the Rwandan genocide. The person who was next in line for the country’s presidency — and who was, in fact, the country’s head of state for less than a day — was Agathe Uwilingiyimana, a university professor and an advocate for women and girls’ education. A beacon for our times, her silenced story and brave spirit is captured in this riveting play.

 

Angela is the author of THE SPANISH PRAYER BOOK (The Road Theatre Company 2019-20 season L.A. Times Best Bet), AGATHE (2020 New American Voices Award - The Landing Theatre, 2021 SETC Getchell Award for Outstanding Full-Length Play, 2021 Jane Chambers Award Finalist and Honoree), CLARA AND SERRA and THE TALKING BEAR (commissioned in 2020 by Antaeus Theatre Company), and GRISWOLD (2022 A is For Juried Grand Prize Winner), among other plays.

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“I wanted to explore what it takes for someone to stand up against extremism. Today we are seeing the rise of extremism across the world including in Britain. It covers all shades – from Islamism to white nationalism.  It tries to dominate through fear and persecution of anyone who begs to differ. It has a pernicious presence that needs to be extinguished.”  
(Raminder Kaur on Terror)

All uncredited images above in Brighton, UK and the exhibition ‘The Mystery of Banksy: A Genius Mind’ at Zentralheize, Erfurt are by Raminder Kaur

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