REVIEW – Dirty Pakistani Lingerie (Touring – The Lowry, Salford)

Aizzah Fatima in Dirty Pakistani Lingerie  ©Elisse Lesser
Aizzah Fatima in Dirty Pakistani Lingerie
©Elisse Lesser

Written and performed by Aizzah Fatima, Dirty Pakistani Lingerie finally landed in Greater Manchester last week after a considerable tour around the globe. Winning several awards and the approval of theatre critics, this one woman show has been well received at the Edinburgh Fringe as well as across America, Pakistan and Turkmenistan.

Poised to the backdrop of post 9/11 America, Dirty Pakistani Lingerie explores the stories and experiences of six different Pakistani-American women. The six female characters were developed from a series of interviews that Fatima conducted with women in the New York and New Jersey area. Developed by Erica Gould, Aizzah Fatima plays the diverse range of personas with superb physicality, smoothly shifting from one to the next and juxtaposing the deeply moving with the infectiously comical. Six-year-old Zahra, who likes roti at home but just wants a sandwich at school like Emma K, shares the same stage as hilarious sixty-year-old Asma who is desperately ringing ads from the Urdu Times Matrimonial section in the hope of finding her daughter an impressive suitor.

Dirty Pakistani Lingerie probes important issues surrounding the notion of a hyphenated identity and blows apart some of the myths and preconceptions surrounding women of Pakistani descent. It’s a universal issue and not just one that is relevant to Pakistani-American women. Aizzah Fatima’s bold writing fuses with Erica Gould’s intelligent direction to open a dialogue about the struggle to assimilate Western society while preserving the culture of origin, as Fatima highlights – ‘you grow where you are planted’. All of the women we meet in this production occupy a junction between two very different cultures.

This entertaining and meaningful production has more mileage than the current running time of 65 minutes, there is room for the characters to be fleshed out even more and I would be keen to see it undergo further development.

Perhaps most poignantly, Dirty Pakistani Lingerie celebrates and presents real Muslim American women – seeking to shatter any stereotypes by giving women of South Asian descent, who are often underrepresented in theatre, a voice.

-Kristy Stott

Dirty Pakistani Lingerie continues its tour at Unity Theatre, Liverpool on 1st April 2016, The Rainhall Centre, Barnoldswick on 8th April 2016, Burnley Arts Centre on 9th April 2016 and The Bureau Centre for the Arts, Blackburn on 10th April 2016. Click on the venues to get your tickets.

Shrek to take ‘ogre’ 2015 Southport Flower Show


Beloved ogre Shrek and the beautiful Princess Fiona will ‘swamp’ Southport Flower Show’s opening day on Thursday 20 August.

The characters of SHREK THE MUSICAL® will be making appearances throughout the day as part of the celebrations of the opening of Southport’s annual flower show, ahead of the production’s triumphant return to the North West.

The flower show will feature a specially designed Shrek swamp, by award-winning gardeners, Mook Gardens LTD, giving visitors a chance to meet Shrek and Princess Fiona on their home turf.

Visitors to Southport Flower Show have the delight of exploring Shrek’s garden and his floral swamp house throughout the show (Thursday 20 – Sunday 23 August) with the chance of bumping into the star couple on the opening day. The Lowry Theatre will also have a stand adjacent to the garden where you can purchase tickets for SHREK THE MUSICAL when it visits Salford from 2nd – 20th February 2016.

Shrek said:
I confess a trip to the Southport Flower Show is a first for me, but of course when I heard there was going to be a recreation of my swamp I couldn’t resist. Fiona is really excited and hopes the flower show might inspire me into developing more of a gardening habit. I already have the green fingers so that’s a good start. We couldn’t resist visiting as the tour of Shrek The Musical will arrive in Liverpool in November/December time and has its very last date in February at the Lowry in Salford.’

Ray Roukin, general manager at Southport Flower Show said:
‘We’re really pleased to be welcoming Shrek and his swamp garden to the show this year, it’s going to be a unique attraction and should prove a big draw for young and old alike.’

Shrek and his garden join a number of family attractions at this year’s show, including free-flying birds of prey, dog displays and award-winning clowns Sonny and Rainbow.  The show will also be having its first ever Super Kids Sunday which includes a dedicated Children’s Marquee on the final day of show, with science workshops and fun, interactive activities.

Entry to the showground is free for children under 16, when accompanied by a paying adult, so there have never been more reasons to take the family to Southport.

SHREK THE MUSICAL UK and Ireland Tour is coming direct from London, where it was seen live on stage by nearly a million people and will run at Liverpool Empire Theatre from 26 November – 6 December 2015 and The Lowry from 2 – 20 February 2016.

Based on the Oscar® winning DreamWorks film and featuring all new songs as well as cult Shrek anthem I’m a Believer, SHREK THE MUSICAL® brings the much-loved DreamWorks characters to life, live on stage, in an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza.