The rights of women and young girls will continue to be a talking point and an issue continually fought for until equality has truly been achieved. Roughly ’15 million girls are married every year before they reach 18 years old, 1 in 3 girls in the developing world are married by age 18 and 1 in 9 married by age 15′ (stats provided by charity Girls Not Brides). These stats are horrifying to be reading in 2019 but sadly, a disheartening reality globally.

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AJ’s Aisha delivers a sense of immediacy to a dark topic far removed from our own lives. The one woman show crafts a platform for the voiceless to be heard, no doubt her story mimicking the experiences of many of those stats previously mentioned. Tristan Bates intimate black box stage perfectly captures the claustrophobic undertone of the piece; a single bed stage right, a kitchen table stage left both separated by a screen and entrance eerily depicting exactly what this unknown monster of a man thinks of his wife, her purpose solely to do as she’s told – an object.

Alex Jarrett’s youthful Aisha jostles between moments of independence whilst on her own and a vulnerability when confronted with her husband. This silent battle a harsh one to watch, as the audience are naturally on side of Aisha, willing for her to either be saved or escape the situation. The choice to only ever refer to her husband and for the audience to never see him is a powerful one. This reinforcing the notion of giving a voice to the voiceless and further emphasising just how horrific her husband is.

In a time whereby the rights of women are being greatly discussed, narratives like this help to raise awareness and perhaps educate audiences on the work charities such as Girls Not Brides are doing by highlighting how factors such as poverty, education and health that greatly affect victims of child marriage. Aisha is a powerful piece of theatre in the making, there’s room for a stronger emotional impact and connection with the script. 3/5

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

Aisha was shown from Friday 4th until Saturday 5th January 2019 at the Tristan Bates Theatre. To find out more about the theatre company AILIA, visit here…

To find out more about the charity Girls Not Brides and how you can support, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop