Seven – Review of a play about seven courageous women


Went for a play today named “Seven” at Rani Seethai Hall. This was in honour of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The aim of this project is to throw spotlight on existing issues of violence and affirm activists attempts to eliminate Gender Based Violence (GBV) in various parts of the world. The programme was a monologue of seven ordinary yet courageous women. The play Seven was created by seven award winning playwrights which talks about seven women activists who hail from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Guatemala, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Pakistan and Russia.

We can see the magnanimity of their struggle and their stupendous achievements inspite of all odds by watching this play.

Marina Piskalakova-Parker, Russia founded the first hotline for victims of domestic violence which has grown into a big counselling service for Russian women. This story has been written by Paula Cizmar of USC, California.

Mu Sochua, Cambodia is the former minister of Women’s Affairs in Cambodia. She was co nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for her work against sex trafficking of women in Cambodia and neighbouring Thailand. MP Mu Sochua, after door to door visits to 428 villages, won a seat in the Parliamnet in July 2008 and was re elected in 2013. Catherine Filloux who wrote this piece has been writing about human rights and social justice for the past twenty years.

Annabelle De Leon, Guatemala, raised herself and her family out of poverty by getting an education. She has been a congresswoman since 1995 and has received death threats because of her fight against corruption and for the rights of the poor, particularly the women. The playwright is Gail Kriegel.

Inez McCormack, Northern Ireland (deceased in 2013) was an internationally renowned and hugely influential human rights and trade union activist. She was an advocate for equal rights and fair labour practices for women and minorities. Carol K.Mack is the playwright.

Farida Azizi, Afghanistan became an activist fighting the marginalization of women under Taliban rule in her native country. Because of threats to her life she has sought asylum and now lives in the US with her two children. She works on Women’s rights and peace building in Afghanistan. The playwright is Ruth Margraff.

Hafsat Abiola, Nigeria is an advocate for human rights and democracy following the murder of her activist parents. She founded the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, which provides skills training and leadership opportunities for young women across Nigeria. Anna Deveare Smith is the playwright based on interviews with the activist.

Mukhtar Mai, Pakistan, was gang raped by four men and forced to walk home almost naked in retribution for an alleged honour crime. Instead of taking the traditional women’s route of committing suicide, she brought her rapists to justice, built schools to improve the condition of women and became an advocate for education in her country. Susan Yankowitz is the playwright of this moving tale.

Those who played the various female characters today were V.Padma a lecturer from Stella Maris, Sunil Vishnu from Evam, Saundarya Rajesh founder of AVTAR Career Creators, Salma a renowned poet and author in Tamil literature, Sampath Muthuvelan a core member of Nalamdana, Anwar Basha a budding entrepreneur, Swapna Nair a national award winning secondary grade teacher.

Each one of them emoted the characters beautifully. The story of each of the seven characters and their journey is very very painful. The audience is able to feel the pain as we sit through and listen to the various stories of strife and struggle as they unfold in front of us through these artistes.

I was very impressed with the director Sanjay Kumar’s presentation skills. He narrated the story all together instead of one by one and with not one bit of confusion. It made the programme interesting and made the audience attentive. The use of Tamil in narrating the story by a few of the characters was again a good directorial touch.

Each performer was equally good and I cannot say if one was better than the other and again the credit goes to the director for this. There was a lively discussion between the audience and the actors/director/and Anuradha Marwah a novelist and playwright who was the coordinator. The Consul general of The US Embassy was the chief guest.

The play will again be performed on Saturday Nov 22nd at Olcott Kuppam, Besant Nagar at 4.30pm. Please don’t miss it.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. UKG (@chinnapiyan)
    Nov 22, 2014 @ 01:42:59

    Thank you very much Mam, for bringing such kind of news to the people living far away from Chennai. you are gifted to watch this Play. Hope it would be staged in near future at Trichy, Madurai etc..

    your narration in the Reviews were wonderful to go through without missing a detail which makes every Reader to go and watch this Play.

    We all would be happy if a solution found by any means to the problems faced by women all over the world.

    Bytheway, a little confusion whether the Play was done by Standing Nattation, a Mono Acting or by group of Actors in a normal way of Drama Music & Stage arrangements .

    May God Bless you Mam and I wish that you bring your Blog active with an interesting Articles many more in the future.


  2. amas32
    Nov 22, 2014 @ 02:40:40

    Thanks for the detailed comment. Yes, it was a reading. The artistes had the paper on hand. So it was a monologue only. But the director made it appear almost like an interactive drama by making the characters only read part of their story at any one time. The rest of the characters also were interactive.

    Thanks for making me explain this point as this was not clear in my review 🙂


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