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National Theatre of Scotland: Starter Funding 2020

The idea for telling this story grew out of an Authentic Artist workshop with Kath Burlinson. Kath offered in-kind support and brought director/dramaturg Niloo-Far Khan and producer Kate Taylor to the core creative team.

Anne: In our increasingly polarised society, I want to challenge fears related to difference and celebrate the richness of cultures within Scotland. Pakistan is often characterised as a country disrupted by poverty, political corruption, violence and natural disaster. We don’t hear about the positive aspects of this beautiful, complex, inspiring place. Despite my doubly problematic status as an illegitimate woman and a female musician in that society, I encountered great warmth, generosity and passion.

We received NTS Starter Funding in early 2020 for (working title), Crossing Lines, to recover my letters and diary entries and use this for improvisations to explore the story through my playing.

Jamie Zubairi was invited to improvise and work with building a frame work for the characters in the story.

We discussed the character arc for the main character and what narrative structures may work to best tell the story. It was clear that music and word were the mediums, however there was truly fascinating imagery of tectonic plates shifting and merging together that made us realise we may need a visual element to tell this piece for it to have an immersive experience.

From this development, we also realised that Anne's story raises relevant questions in today’s world:

What is the meaning of ‘family’ when your father didn’t know you were born and many in his family don’t accept your existence? What significance does an unknown father have to my life? What can I claim of him, his family and culture?


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