Sitaraha – Tales and Stories to Wake Us Up

Guest blogger Meg Crane writes about touring show Sitaraha in her latest FemFest 2015 review.


Sitaraha is a simple, yet powerful show about the lives of women throughout history in Afghanistan.

Monirah Hashemi, the solo actor, transitions from the storyteller to the play’s different characters seamlessly. One moment she’s a condemned woman, cowering and crying. The next she is a woman in love, singing to the man who has her heart.

Hashemi uses her layers of skirts to quickly alter her costume between characters right on stage. With the movement of cloth comes dramatic changes in her demeanour. She goes from portraying pain and sorrow to happiness in seconds.

With only a few props on stage, Hashemi’s powerful voice carried the play. She shows the stories of Halima, Gul Begum and Sara. Halima is sentenced to death for adultery after being raped by her step-son. Gul Begum’s family is murdered, including her daughter who is first raped. Sara’s husband dies in the civil war and she is left alone with their baby.

Through spoken words, singing and dancing, Hashemi brings the women’s stories to life with a fierce passion that draws the audience in and leaves an emptiness in the room when she leaves the stage after the show.

“The tales and stories are used to wake us up,” Hashemi says in her introduction. And that’s what they do.

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There are two performances left on September 17th at 9pm and September 18th at 7pm. In addition Monirah Hashemi will be speaking about her life and career as an artist on September 18th at 12:30pm, plus the results of her Afghan dance workshop will be shared at our Closing Cabaret on September 19th at 9pm.

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