‘Broken Images’: Shabana Azmi’s one-woman show grapples with identity
12 March 2017

Shabana Azmi - Broken Images

After last year’s brilliant outing in Kaifi Aur Main (which we wrote about here), the great Shabana Azmi is back in London in March with another play. Broken Images was first performed in India in 2012, and has also toured the US – all to rave reviews.

It’s a one-woman, one-act show with Shabana Azmi playing two sisters – one who is present on stage and the other who speaks through video. Stage Shabana Azmi – Manjula – is a writer who has recently found international fame with her first English book, and is grappling with questions about language and identity. Her video counterpart is ostensibly her brilliant, disabled sister Malini. What we can discern from the reviews is that the dialogue between them reveals a complex relationship, as the two question, challenge, accuse the other, vying for the audience’s sympathy – which has to constantly shift. Shabana Azmi has said in various interviews that she herself struggles to choose between the two characters – and her affinity wth either varies from show to show.

Ultimately the audience must ask who is the woman in the video, what does she represent, and what role does today’s relentlessly ubiquitous electronic media play in our quest to know, define and present ourselves? We’re told to expect a thrilling, unexpected climax.

The play is written by actor, director and playwright Girish Karnad – a translation of his 2004 Kannada original Odakalu Bimba (there’s also a Hindi translation Bikhre Bimb) – and directed by Alyque Padamsee. He worked with Shaukat Azmi (Shabana Azmi’s mother) over 40 years ago, and also played Jinnah in Gandhi (fun facts type thing).

The play will be followed by a Q&A session with Shabana Azmi.

Please note that disappointingly – especially for a play with a disabled protagonist – it is being shown in a venue which does not have wheelchair access facilities.


When: Sunday 12th March 2017, 6pm 

Where: Logan Hall, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

Tickets: £28.10 – £84.30

More info: Chilli Tickets – Broken Images


Posted on 18 February 2017.

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