“A PASSIONATE display of modern-day activism with love and justice at the heart of the story.”

Writer Kamal Kaan brings the tragedy of Ancient Greece to modern-day Bradford, with Sophocles’ Antigone, set in an out of hours office.

Staged by Freedom Studios in association with Carbon Imagineering, the play was designed to be performed in front of an audience as well as online, where I watched it, before the pandemic.

Directed by Alex Chisholm and Dermot Daly, cameras were effectively used to showcase the different modes of communication in the digital era with conferences from the Home Secretary taking place, just as we watched throughout the pandemic.

A brother with a secret, facing deportation, sister Imani, played by Lydia Hasoon, finally taking her stand, and facing a brutal ending; Aaliyah who takes on the world, losing all of whom she loved, left standing alone.

Aaliyah: After Antigone is a play that speaks volumes for underrepresented communities and minorities, highlighting conversations that take place within minority communities that are never pushed into the wider social sphere.

Halema Hussain, who played Aaliyah, captured the audience with her brilliant display, her sharp monologues hitting all the right spots.

Coming out of a global pandemic, Kaan has captured the essence of community division and unity.

This play pushes the notion of citizenship and what it means to be a modern Brit. Where the strands of identity are woven closer together but unravelled just as quickly.

The play effectively portrays the struggle of every minority’s insecurity of how British are you, and what allegiance does this country have to you?

This is a perfectly timed piece of drama that plays out the South Asian struggle and leaves the audience with the question of what now?

Aaliyah: After Antigone tells a tragedy that is all too real for some parts of the Bradford community and beyond.

Authenticity is at the heart of representation and Kaan’s writing delved into the real experience of Bengali girls living in Bradford.

Faith and culture played a huge part in this story and Kaan interwove these elements brilliantly showing his understanding and appreciation for diversity.

Kaan’s writing and Halema’s acting had the desired impact, leaving the audience with questions about their own identity and how they want to be remembered.