Presented by Dervish, based on real events using Somali, English and spoken word, and featuring the epic lyrical tradition of Somalia, a unique exploration of the violence of Empire and the poetry of resistance. Written and directed by Hassan Mahamdallie. A one woman show, with live music from a master Oud player and visual imagery by celebrated artist Rachel Gadsden, transformed into moving image by Polish film-maker Adam Radolinski.
The date is May 2011: Suuban sits in the dark in a Woolwich council house watching the
US assassination of Osama Bin Laden unfold on TV.
The date is August 1913: The British are at war… in Africa. In the interior of British
Somaliland the hunt for the ‘Mad Mullah’ is on. A woman dervish warrior searches the
body of a British Tommy. Soon battle will be joined.
“Say, the dervish are like the advancing thunderbolts of a storm, rumbling and roaring.”
These two worlds will fuse and shake Suuban to her very core.
“A play that delves so deeply into the annals of the complex historical relationship between Britain and Somalia, brings to life a woman dervish the likes of which you have never seen on a British stage. Hassan Mahamdallie’s script beautifully weaves the contemporary with the historical. The Crows Plucked Your Sinews is less a play and more of a total theatrical experience.”
Madani Younis, Artistic Director, The Bush Theatre
The Crows Plucked Your Sinews brings poetry, imagery and language to explore the
themes of gender politics; our relationship with our history; war and violence; the First
World War being played out in the Empire; religion and ‘extremism’.
It is the first professional play combining contemporary and historical Somali life to be developed and produced in England.
“Britain needs to remember its past more clearly. Coming to see this moving, well performed show would be a useful part of that process.” The British Theatre Guide
“It is ultimately a coming of age story following Suuban from a place where she is disconnected from both her family and her history, to an understanding and appreciation of her Somali heritage. An important story to tell, The Crows Plucked Your Sinews is a refreshing insight into a culture absent from the teachings of British history. I hope this piece empowers young East African Muslims in Britain to discover their heritage and embrace it if, like Suuban, they have felt previously disconnected from it.” Female Arts
“The show is a wonderful indication of what Britain is today, made up of many cultures, pasts and people. Its strong feminist connotations are inspiring to audiences of every walk of life. Mahamdallie cuts away every stereotype of Somalian culture and shares his vast and extensive knowledge for us to be inspired, changed and challenged.”
Behind The Arras, Birmingham *****
Suitable for ages 14 years & above.
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