In Urdu, Sir Peh Talway means ‘sword above my head’. It refers to living under constant threat, going day to day as if there were a sword waiting to drop down on you.
Fiza’s story begins in Lahore, as the child of a conservative and very violent father. Born with a love of dance, Fiza (Fresh Air) hides her talents from her family and those around her. A free-spirited girl, Fiza’s life take a turn when she is 17, and is pushed into an arranged marriage.
Sir Peh Talway follows Fiza from Pakistan to the UK, via two false marriages – one arranged, one conned – asylum, detention in Yarlswood, to Manchester and finally the right to remain. We witness abuse from her father, her husbands, her community and others, till finally Fiza can be free, can be herself, can live without a sword above her head, can dance. Tonight, we see that dance, and celebrate that freedom.
Direction and Choreography: Magdalen Bartlett
Performed by: Fiza