“Nirbhaya, nirbhaya, nirbhaya” chanted the protagonists in Nirbhaya – The play which I saw last week at the Southbank Centre. Nirbhaya (meaning Fearless one) is a play based around the Delhi rape which took place on 16 December 2012.
I had heard about Nirbhaya through many people and the one common comment was that it was brilliant and I had to see it, I would love it so when I went to see it on Friday 7th March at the Southbank Centre expectations were obviously high. I was pretty scared and nervous actually before seeing it with my friend Mala. As it started I became engrossed in the world of not just Jyoti Singh Pandey but all the other women who played not just characters but shared their real life stories during those 90 minutes.
Nirbhaya follows the real life stories of Sapna Bhavnani, Priyanka Bose, Poorna Jagannathan and Sneha Jawale whom individually have had their own life experiences include gang rape, sexual abuse and attempted murder by setting on fire alive. These women are brave, brave individuals who shone individually as well as an ensemble, my heart bled for each and I shed many tears for every one of them and even though I haven’t personally encountered anything like this I wanted to put my hand up and fight not just for these women but for each and every woman that has had to go through some form of abuse whether it be physical or mental (whilst I am writing this in fact I am getting angry and emotional) but I salute these women for taking a stand and telling the world their story.
Nirbhaya is directed by Yael Farber and I don’t know much about direction but the way she has bought everything to life is just so wonderful yet heart breaking.
Japjit Kaur plays the Fearless one in an almost haunting manner and she was the absolutely perfect choice to play the Jyoti Singh Pandey. It again was brave of her to play her and it must have been devastating to enact some of those scenes, especially end scene on the bus.
Ankur Vikal is someone we mostly know from playing Maman in Slumdog Millionaire, I really rate him for being the only male to act in Nirbhaya because it takes a lot of guts but he was effortless from Jyoti Singh Pandeys friend to one of the gang members.
Nirbhaya is now moving across for shows in India but I do hope they return and do a UK wide journey because I know many people across the country who will want to see it. Overall Nirbhaya is a must see and every woman who is going through any form of abuse must speak out like these women have.
Nirbhaya – I salute you.
Check out Nirbhaya’s website here – http://www.nirbhayatheplay.com/
Picture courtesy – Nirbhaya website