Writer Sophia showcased at the Fringe

Date published: 01 August 2008

THIS year’s world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival will host a one-woman show written by a young Coppice woman.

Sophia Rashid (24) has been writing and directing for theatre over the last five years and her work will be part of the first-ever InvAsian Festival held as part of the Fringe.

The piece, “Dance without Movement”, explores the multiple identities that are formed growing up as a British Pakistani Muslim woman.

The story is about Zuleikha, played by Pakistani actress Yamina Peerzada (24), who is struggling to distinguish her identity in a world of clashing faiths and families.

Zuleikha is a sister, daughter, friend, wife, Muslim, Pakistani, Asian, British, but does she really know who she is?

The production follows her journey of self-discovery against the surroundings of a northern mill town and her close-knit Pakistani community.

Having studied psychology and neuroscience at the University of Leicester, Sophia returned to the North-West to pursue her artistic ambitions and to work with the communities in which she grew up.

She has pioneered a number of grassroots arts initiatives in partnership with local organisations, including Peshkar, Oldham Theatre Workshop, M6 Theatre and the Contact Theatre.

Sophia said: “It is important that there is a counter-narrative against the preconceptions and stereotypes about British Asians and Muslims that are portrayed in the media and within our own communities today.

“I feel it is important for British Asian artists to nurture the next generation who can bring alive our stories and ensure our voices continue to be heard in this world of increasing division.

“I am delighted to be part of the Edinburgh Fringe and privileged to be the first ever to be part of the new InvAsian Festival at the Fringe.”

“Dance Without Movement” has been created for all age-ranges and communities, and offers an insight into the British Asian experience. Sophia uses Punjabi dialogue, old folk music, along with contemporary dialogue and music for the younger age groups.

The play’s world premiere takes place at Quincentenary Hall, Royal College of Surgeons, in Edinburgh from August 3-25 at 6pm.