New young writer/director AJ presents his first play, AISHA, at Hen and Chickens Theatre.
AISHA is about an underage girl forced by her parents to marry a 51-year-old man at the age of 14. She is sold in exchange for an expensive dowry, a dowry that her parents use to better themselves and abandon their daughter: an act justified by cultural and religious traditions.
The man that Aisha is forced to marry and live with is sadistic and abusive. She is forbidden to leave the house; communicate with the outside world; shower or bathe herself on a regular basis; and is denied every human right. Aisha is bound to domestic duty and forced to submit to any sexual act her husband wishes to bestow upon her. How will she continue to cope?
Through rhythmic verse, heavily influenced by contemporary spoken word, AISHA discusses the practice and repercussions of child marriage; a practice still perpetrated in the UK, with the Home Office estimating that between 5,000 and 8,000 young people a year are at risk.
The cast includes Alexander Lincoln, Olivia Valler-Feltham, Ayo Oyelakin, Sabrina Richmond and the theatrical debut of Laura Adebisi, who plays the now 17-year-old titular role. Writer, director and producer AJ comments:
“I strive to create unconventional and thought-provoking work that audience members can deeply engage with. Theatre should be and can be used as a medium to transform society. AISHA is a clear representation of this; I chose to artistically portray the grave effect child marriage can have on a child, in hope that the conveying of this will bring to light a social-ill that is somehow dangerously overlooked.”
AISHA plays the Hen and Chickens Theatre from 13 – 24 June. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.