One in twelve

New theatre from Kali gives voice to victims of honour violence.

Twelve is a creative response to a shocking statistic from the Metropolitan Police: In the UK on average each year twelve women are murdered by family members in so called ‘honour’ killings.

Kali Theatre brought together twelve female Asian writers to research twelve real life stories of women like Samaira Nazir, murdered for falling in love with an unsuitable boyfriend and Shafilea Ahmed, killed by her father after rejecting an arranged marriage proposal. Drawing on the statements of survivors, witnesses and support workers, each writer then wrote a piece inspired by the life and death of one of these women.

These twelve deeply moving, touching but often humorous stories of friendship, first love, defiance and death have been interwoven with traditional and contemporary dance to create a unique and powerful theatre experience that gives expression to these lost lives.

Director Janet Steel has directed over 30 readings of new work and 11 productions for Kali. twelve, Kali, MacChoreography is by Sheema Kermani, who will also perform. Sheema is an
internationally known dancer and campaigner, and the founder of Tehrik-e-Niswan, a cultural arm of the Women’s Rights Movement in Pakistan. For over three decades, this fearless and renowned classical dancer has led a battle against cultural oppression in Pakistan by staging shows on subjects that are not easily talked about in that part of the world.

Twelve is written by Sonali Bhattacharyya, Sharmila Chauhan, Satinder Chohan, Azma Dar, Tanika Gupta, Bettina Gracias, Sayan Kent, Yasmeen Khan, Anu Kumar, Amber Lone, Nessah Muthy and Yasmin Whittaker-Khan. Their plays have been presented at the RSC, National Theatre, Royal Court, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Birmingham Rep, Soho Theatre, Oval House, Hampstead Theatre, Leicester Curve, Watford Palace, Coventry Belgrade and have written extensively for TV and radio.

Kali presents ground breaking new plays by women from a South Asian background. They seek out and nurture strong individual writers who challenge our perceptions through original and thought-provoking theatre. Further information from

As part of their UK tour, Twelve is at Mac Birmingham on 16th-17th April. Box Office 0121 446 3232