Mehndi Night

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DOI: 10.5040/9781784601300.00000006
Roles: Male (0) , Female (11) , Neutral (0)

Fin Kennedy's Mehndi Night is a play about resentment and forgiveness on the eve of a wedding, and explores the challenges of a cross-cultural identity in 21st-century Britain. It was the first play to emerge from a groundbreaking collaboration between Kennedy and the Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets, East London. It was first performed by students from the school on 2 August 2007 at Venue 45, Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The title of the play refers to the traditional pre-wedding Hindu celebrations. Akin to a ‘hen’ night, it is a time for the female members of a community to gather together to sing, dance and bless the bride-to-be. However, when an uninvited visitor turns up bringing with her painful memories of the past, everyone is forced to confront their own fears, prejudices and longings.

In an author's note in the published edition, Fin Kennedy writes that the play 'marked the first time in British theatre history that a play had been written entirely for and about British Bangladeshi women. This was very much a result of the way in which the play was developed, with ten committed fifteen-year-olds over several months; their desire to create a play for a mainstream adult audience about the women of their community, and the effect of the modern world on their relationships with one another.'

The Edinburgh Fringe premiere was directed by Julia Voce and designed by Kollodi Norton. It was performed by Marjana Rahman, Khadija Sharaz Khanom, Nabarupa Deb, Sabina Aktar, Thania Sultana, Rubena Begum, Farhana Hussain, Aklima Begum, Fahmina Begum and Rebeka Yasmin.

From The Urban Girl's Guide to Camping and other plays

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Nick Hern Books

Fin Kennedy

ISBN: 9781848421202

Series: NHB Modern Plays

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