Silently Hoping at Applecart Arts: Award-winning play writer Iskandar R. Sharazuddin explores what it can mean to come from a mixed cultural heritage in a modern world

Finding your identity isn’t easy. It is what can make getting older so hard to do. There are so many aspects of yourself that you may end up questioning. Your sexuality, where you grew up, your parent’s heritage, your religious beliefs and even the job you do can all leave marks on the way you identify who you are.


In Silently Hoping, award-winning play writer Iskandar R. Sharazuddin, explores what it can mean to come from a mixed-cultural heritage. The play opens a window in to the life of a women in the twilight of her late twenties making grown-up and life changing decisions. Kalila Masri is about to have a baby with her partner, Charlotte. Her mother’s worries that she isn’t ready for the responsibility of being a parent collide with Kalila struggle to feel comfortable with her own Islamic heritage. As she copes with her partner Charlotte’s calls for commitment and her mother’s demands for Kalila to do something with her life, an unexpected ghost from her past surfaces to send her mind into a spin. Her estranged father makes contact and she is left questioning who she really is.

She knows she is a British-Asian, millennial, Muslim Londoner with a girlfriend but what does all of that mean? What does she want from life? When you’re so close to turning thirty is it too late to be asking who you are and where you plan to go?


Iskandar has used his own experience of finding an identity in his cultural and religious heritage to influence how he approaches the themes of the play. The play is directed by Mingyu Lin and is important in questioning how multiculturalism, queerness and religion combine to create identity in modern society.

The main drive of the narrative is for audiences to understand what the mixed-race experience of life can feel like. General aspects of everyday life, such as language can have a massive and long-lasting impact on the rest of a person’s life.

See Silently Hoping at Applecarts Arts from 27th-30th November 2019. Tickets start at £10 and can be purchased Applecart Arts website. Click here to buy tickets

Iskandar is a British-Southeast Asian playwright and theatre maker; he is an alumna of the Soho Theatre Writers Lab & Criterion New Writing Programme. He is the 2014 recipient of the Soho Theatre Tony Craze Playwriting Award for The Life of Cardboard. In 2015 he was long-listed for the Bruntwood Playwriting Prize in the Top 100 Plays. He has worked in development with Soho Theatre, the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain and the Criterion Theatre (West End). He has been shortlisted for the Old Vic 12, Off West End Adopt a Playwright, and the Bread & Roses Playwriting Award.
Mingyu is an award-winning British East Asian stage director and filmmaker. She is an alumna of The Royal Court Theatre Writers Programme and a graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She recently assisted Michael Boyd on The King of Hell’s Palace by award-winning playwright Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig for Hampstead Theatre and Kim Pearce on Forgotten by Daniel York Loh for Plymouth Theatre Royal & Arcola Theatre

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