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by Guleraana Mir & Afshan D'souza Lodhi

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⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'While training its lens on a small story of female friendship, Madelaine Moore’s neat one-hour production speaks eloquently about the wider experience of Partition and sexual equality.' - The Stage

'Madelaine Moore’s production... reminds that the minimalism and economy that the Vaults demands can bring benefits not just constraints.' - Lyn Gardner for Stagedoor

Working in collaboration with writer Guleraana MIr, I developed the concept for this tale of two young women – one Sikh, one Muslim – standing fast against circumstances that would separate them. In 1945, two years before the partition of India, Santi and Naz are best friends who only think about stealing books, swimming in the lake and spying on the local hottie. But as social unrest spreads and families and communities are torn apart, neither understands how their religions are set to divide them, having lived side-by-side all their lives. Then when Naz is betrothed to a tailor in Rawalpindi and her feelings for Santi become complex and confusing, the girls reach cross-roads with terrible consequence.

After the initial development of the story, we brought in Afshan D'souza Lodhi to co-write the play with Guleraana, keen to develop two contrasting voices to lead us through the girl's experiences.  Santi & Naz contributes to a conversation about postcolonial legacy whilst telling a fresh new story of female friendship, love, loyalty and identity, drawing from the recent legalisation of homosexuality in India in 2018. The show is set just before the partition of India, which split the country into Hindu and Sikh-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan, displacing over ten million people and leaving over one million dead. It has been described as the greatest humanitarian crisis of modern times, and the effects of the division can still be felt today.

Santi & Naz ran at VAULT Festival 2020 and was met with critical acclaim. There it won an Origins Award for outstanding new work.  It went on to be nominated as a finalist for Best Stage Production in the Asian Media Awards 2020

Santi & Naz
Santi & Naz

Photo by Steve Gregson

Santi & Naz
Santi & Naz

Photo by Steve Gregson

Santi & Naz
Santi & Naz

Photo by Steve Gregson

Santi & Naz
Santi & Naz

Photo by Steve Gregson

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Santi: Rose-Marie Christian

Naz: Ashna Rabheru

Written by Guleraana Mir & Afshan D'souza Lodhi

Associate Director - Medhavi Patel

Set & Costume Design - Sascha Gilmour

Lighting Design - Rajiv Pattani

Composition - Sarah Sayeed

Additional Sound Design - Nicola Chang