Alumnae play showcasing at Vault Festival
Zahra Jassi (LHS 2018) has written, and will have her play, Honour-Bound, showcased at VAULT Festival in London from Tuesday 7 until Friday 10 March. VAULT Festival is a UK independent showcase of live performance and artistic talent. They have a vision to inspire a creative society that is open, accessible and inclusive.
Zahra has been in touch to tell us more about her play and what it means to her to have it performed at VAULT Festival. She also reflects on her time at LHS, how it influenced her career now, and the teachers that encouraged her.
Honour-Bound is a funny, poignant, and thought-provoking solo show that explores honour-based violence (HBV) and anti-Blackness in South Asian communities and family, and what we’ll sacrifice for love. Set on a DLR carriage, it centres on Simran, a young British-Indian woman who is fleeing HBV due to her family finding out about her Black boyfriend. On her journey to the airport, Simran tells us about her relationship, her family, how she cuts sandwiches diagonally and hates Blue VKs, and the friend she lost to HBV.
Having my play at VAULT Festival is a great milestone to have achieved straight after graduating from drama school. Securing jobs in the arts can be difficult, so I’m very proud and grateful to have Honour-Bound at VAULT! Hopefully, this will be a stepping-stone towards a longer run of the show at a prestigious theatre in London or will lead to new collaborations and work. Having my play at VAULT also means that it has been published. I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity and can’t thank the team at VAULT and Nick Hern Books enough!
Aside from VAULT Festival, I’m currently a student at Identity School of Acting. I’m on the Youth Advisory Board at the Almeida Theatre where I focus on equality, diversity, and inclusion, as well as access to, and within theatre, with some incredible fellow board members. Also, I’m slowly thinking through a concept for my next play.
The drama department and teachers at LSF– Miss Boon, Miss Bruton, Miss Eastwood, and Miss Hooper – influenced my passion for theatre and the arts whilst I was at school. They supported me in Year 12 to write a short play for New Director’s Season titled Man Up, which explored the link between gender stereotypes and the high suicide rate for men, and I’m very appreciative of their support. Looking back, this was not good writing but it’s all about the process, and perhaps if I hadn’t written that I wouldn’t have written Honour-Bound! Miss Boon also introduced me to one of my favourite plays – The Effect by Lucy Prebble, whose writing I greatly admire. She also taught memorable lessons in the importance of work ethic, accountability, and ambition. My passion for making theatre started in this drama department and I remain indebted to these teachers for not only allowing me to make theatre during my time at the school, but for encouraging me to do so.
Ticket link – https://vaultfestival.com/performances/honour-bound/
Play text link – https://www.nickhernbooks.co.uk/plays-from-vault-6