“FULL OF SWEATY, SWEARY JOY AT THE SHEER POSSIBILITIES OF LIFE.” **** THE GUARDIAN
“POWERFUL AND TRIUMPHANT … A CELEBRATION OF THE HUMAN WILL THAT TRANSCENDS RELIGION AND GENDER.”
**** THE INDEPENDENT
Tuesday 8 to Saturday 12 September
The STUDIO, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2EP Performance times: 7pm Tue 8, 1.30pm Wed 9 and Thu 10, 6pm Fri 11 and Sat 12 September
Tickets: £12 – £17 with concessions available Box Office: 0121 236 4455
Online Booking: Birmingham-rep.co.uk
Recommended age: 12+
Running time: 1 hour
We are sick of it, being ignored. Sick of it, being indoors.
The critically-acclaimed No Guts, No Heart, No Glory, which considers expectations placed on young Muslim women and devised in collaboration with former national boxing champion, 19-year-old Ambreen Sadiq, comes to The STUDIO at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 8 to 12 September.
Performed in a boxing ring, No Guts, No Heart, No Glory is a powerful piece of theatre about young, Muslim, female boxers. With a live electronic sound score, epic visual design, cinematic lighting and the energy of a club, this immersive show explores being young, fearless and doing the unexpected.
Winner of a Scotsman Fringe First Award 2014 and a Special Commendation Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award 2013, plus a string of four star reviews, No Guts, No Heart, No Glorywas developed with the UK’s first Muslim female boxer, Ambreen Sadiq, who became National Champion at 16, on her second fight. The play also stars Saira Tabasum, former British University female boxing champion, as herself, to ensure that the show features some awe-inspiring, authentic boxing.
“No one really expects an Asian Muslim girl to walk out and get into the ring. My first fight was in Leeds; I was 15. I walked in and everyone was like, is that an Asian girl? I was trying to get into the ring and people were still saying, that’s an Asian girl! They were checking their programmes” Ambreen Sadiq
Director, Evie Manningsaid of No Guts, No Heart, No Glory: “We wanted to make something that would push the expectations of young Muslim women from both within the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. We started interviewing Muslim female boxers and were struck by their determination and passion for the sport, at how they had said ‘I will be who I want to be and do what I want to do’ and we thought this was a powerful message that spoke to all young women and young men. No Guts, No Heart, No Glory was an opportunity for us to make something positive and create an atmosphere of a club, with loud music and strong female characters.”
Writer, Aisha Ziasaid: “Growing up it was really hard to work out what I wanted to do because I wasn’t sure what I was allowed to do. The world seemed like a lonely place at sixteen. I could see things that I wanted to be a part of but often felt like an outsider. I wanted to write a play that made young Muslim girls feel included, felt like they were on the inside and that they were a part of something they created. No Guts, No Heart, No Glory is about ambition and belonging, but also fighting for the right to be heard. In this new world there are no expectations, and no prejudices and anything is possible because there are no rules.”
Boxing coach, Ambreen Sadiqsaid: “I’ve been involved in coaching the actresses and offering insight and advice to the team based on my experience. I box but also coach other young boxers though I never imagined I’d be asked to coach actresses for a play. I met Evie through my coach and I was really keen to get involved as working on a play was something I was looking to be able to do. I would love for as many people as possible to see the play. I feel that it’s based on my story. An Asian girl or woman boxing is a huge thing in our culture especially when you are Pakistani and a Muslim, it’s seen as not very ladylike. I want to get the point across that boxing is not just for boys. I want to inspire girls from all backgrounds to do what they dream of doing whether that’s boxing or not.”
The cast for No Guts, No Heart, No Glory includes Freyaa Ali, Nayab Din, Saira Tabasum, Seherish Mahmood, Mariam Rashid. It is directed by by Evie Manning, with design by Alice Hoult, lighting design by Ivan Mack and sound design by Wojtek Rusin.
Common Wealth makes site-specific theatre events that encompass electronic sound, new writing, visual design and verbatim text. Their work is political and contemporary, addressing the concerns of our times. The company seeks places to stage work in the centre of a community; a residential house, a boxing gym, places where people who might not go to the theatre might come instead. They aim to make theatre for people who don’t usually think it’s for them: bored of the notion that theatre is for the middle classes and those that can afford it they see theatre as an art form that should belong to everyone – as audience, participants and protagonists. Common Wealth started working together in 2008 with no funding, just access to buildings and networks of great people to collaborate with. On every project they seek to make something that will engage audiences in an encounter that pushes what theatre can be.