Nirbhaya – The play

Nirbhaya- don’t forget

A review of the high rated play Nirbhaya as seen through the eyes of two very different women.

Primarily written for CAREducation Trusts WOW campaign.

On the night of December 16 2012 a young woman and her male friend boarded a bus in urban Delhi heading for home. What followed changed the lives of these two people and countless others forever. Yael Farber and Poorna Jagannathan team to present a play that cracks open the silence around women whose lives have been shattered by gender-based violence.

Please see their website for more information and dates of production: Follow them @NirbhayaThePlay

A review from Rupa Dodhia:

A play with powerful words and actions but most of all powerful silences that not only provoked the mind but the body. Nirbhaya, meaning “fearless”  was not only portraying the real life story of one victims sexual abuse but that of four other women who were the actual  cast members. In our day to day lives,we often turn so many blind eyes to the awful events that take place in the world, but I could not turn anywhere but look straight ahead at these courageous four women while they passionately expressed their stories.

Nirbhaya is a truthful play, not over dramatised and not understated. It not only poses questions but ignites a curious mind for the audience. I for one spent the best part of an hour discussing the play and the wider issues surrounding it with my partner, we are still discussing it four days later! Nirbhaya is an extraordinary story that has truly moved and inspired me. I am most certain that it has changed the outlook of many others and stripped away the stigma even just a little bit,so that other women can come forward and share their story.


A review from Dilisha Patel

We can close our eyes, shut our ears from the harrowing events, but for the fragile girl, that scared boy, that terrified woman, they can’t escape. It’s their reality, their life. For some they relive the experiences everyday. For the cast of Nirbhaya, they relive it every night on stage to an audience to tell you their story. They reenact their horrors to create the platform to show you there is no shame, you can speak up, you can rise.

When I sat in the front row waiting for the play to begin, I was afraid of the detail they may go into knowing that it would affect my emotions. I felt like a coward, being scared to see acting when others face this reality?! I watched and I held my tears, I used the anger rising inside me as strength in a conviction that I would not remain silent. To rise for all those that experience sexual violence, because it is not acceptable for me to live in a world where anyone undergoes that terror.

The audience were asked to raise their hands if they had or knew anyone close to them who had experienced sexual violence, I think most of the hands in the room went up. It is too common to be tolerated. This play is so powerful and moving that it will change each person that views it.

The cast are traveling to India to expose this piece to that audience. They do not know how it will be received. The aim is to let others realise that it is okay to talk about it, to help remove the stigma, that there needs to be change. The change needs to occur at all levels, from the police officers, to the families of victims to the women gossiping in the streets. Together we need to show the perpetrators that they cannot get away with inflicting this abuse, there will be repercussions.

Break the Silence against Sexual Violence.


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