So who is Tahirih?
Star rating: ***
Venue: Assembly George Square Studios (Venue 17)
Theology students may already be aware of Fatimah Baraghani, the Iranian women’s rights martyr of the early/mid-19th century; everyone else can refer to musician/actress Delia Oram’s new play which celebrates her life through the eyes of those closest to her, each presenting a different perspective on the legend of “the lady heretic”.
Her matter-of-fact executioner is oblivious to the hypocrisy of condemning her behaviour as anti-Muslim while he swigs from a bottle of alcohol. Her disapproving father now regrets giving her the educational means to mount her campaigns for removal of the veil and an end to polygamy. Her acolytes speak of her in awed tones, elevating this bold, eloquent woman to iconic status.
It is no surprise, though sobering, to find Tahirih’s themes still resonate and Oram hints at the continuing relevance by fleshing out monologues with anachronistic modern musical interludes, accompanying her jazzy vocals on cello from under a shroud, to mixed effect.
Until 29 August. Today 12:35pm.