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Assembly, Riverside Studios and Poorna Jagannathan Production (India, UK, Canada)

Nov 3 – 14, 2015

York Theatre

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Production Sponsor:
Charlotte & Sonya Wall
In partnership with Diwali Fest 
Support and Action Partner: Women Against Violence Against Women 
Community Partner: Amnesty International

Written and directed by: Yaël Farber
Based on the performers’ real life experiences and the violent incident that shocked Delhi and the world

On December 16, 2012, a young woman boarded a bus in Delhi heading for home. What followed changed countless lives forever. Internationally acclaimed playwright and director, Yaël Farber (Mies Julie), has created a searing new work that cracks open the cone of silence around women whose lives have been shattered by violence.

With an extraordinary cast and creative team from India, Farber brings us a blistering evocation of that terrible night and the ripples of change it set in motion. Tearing away the shame that keeps the survivors silent, Nirbhaya is a voyage into a tapestry of personal testimonies.

The draw: Rave reviews and dozens of awards including the coveted Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.

For ages 16+. Contains adult themes and mature content.

Nirbhaya is stunning. You could feel the impact of the material in the silence that preceded the ovation on the opening night of the show’s run at the York” — Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

True stories of violence deserve to be heard” — Erika Thorkelson, The Vancouver Sun

Nirbhaya is not a play you like but it’s powerful, urgent and true. It’s also a remarkable piece of theatre. Be fearless. See it” — Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier

These power packed performances inspired by real life incidents of the artists leave you shocked, enraged and emotionally high by the end when Nirbhaya once again takes over the plot” — Goswami Darpan, Darpan Magazine

Nirbhaya is thoughtful and respectful. It does not shy away from the difficult questions, which is exactly how it is able to do justice to Jyoti Singh Pandey’s story. The honesty and genuineness of the actors’ performances made the experience unforgettable for me” — Prachi Kamble, Vancouver Arts Review

The women of Nirbhaya are indeed fearless. One of the most devastatingly beautiful endings you will ever see on stage” — Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

An intense, jarring and emotional show…for the duration of the performance, we sat rigid and tense, almost forgetting to exhale” — Christina Pontikis, Vancouver Weekly

★★★★★ One of the most powerful and urgent pieces of human rights theatre ever made” – The Herald

We are not just watching, we are bearing witness” – The Guardian (UK)

Powerful and incredibly moving” – The Independent

Deeply moving” – The New York Times

Yael Farber’s intelligent, defiant and uncompromising production says simply, ‘this is happening and it can’t be ignored” – Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

Proudly, they shatter the pervasive shame culture of silence that surrounds sexual violence against women.” – Evening Standard

Venue: York Theatre – 639 Commercial Drive

Show dates and times:
Nov 3, 8 PM: Opening
Nov 4 – 7, 10 – 14: 8 PM
Nov 8: 2 PM

No Performance: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 (Remembrance Day)

Post-show discussion:
Join the performers for a post-show talkback on: Nov 4, 8 & 10
Women Against Violence Against Women will facilitate a post-show discussion with the audience on November 3, 5-7, 10-14 (no performance on Nov 11)

Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission


Written and directed by: Yaël Farber

Priyanka Bose
Poorna Jagannathan*
Sneha Jawale
Rukhsar Kabir
Japjit Kaur
Pamela Mala Sinha
Ankur Vikal

*Each testimony in this production belongs to the person performing it. Due to unforeseen circumstances this performance will not include Poorna Jagannathan’s testimony and has been adapted to accommodate this change.


Set and Costume Design: Oroon Das
Soundscape Design: Abhijeet Tambe
Lighting Design: Paul Lim
Stage Manager: Triona Humphries
Assistant Director: Robert Jansen
Re-lighter for Canada: Anthony Doran
Production Manager for Canada: Conor Mullan
Producer: Assembly, Riverside Studios and
Poorna Jagannathan
Producer for Assembly & Riverside:
Margaret Moll
Originating Producer: Poorna Jagannathan
Production Manager: Paul Lim
Production Management India: QTP
Fundraising and Development: Annette Gibbons-Warren

Sound Libraries: Earth Moments and Svaram
Live Music: Bangles By Niraj Chag from the album Along the Dusty Road
Ur Jaa By Niraj Chag ft. Japjit Kaur from the album The Lost Souls
ANUSVARA 6th Prism (Shirish Korde) from Rakshasa by Simon Thacker


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