Sameena’s first solo work is inspired by her father

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Baabul

Square Chapel Arts Centre

When Sameena Hussain walks out on stage to perform her autobiographical show Baabul, one very proud person in the audience will be paying particular attention, writes Tim Worsnop.

Baabul (which means father in a number of South Asian languages) is Sameena’s first solo stage work and is all about her relationship with her own father Khadim.

The piece will take the form of a structured improvisation with Sameena talking directly to her audience in both English and Punjabi.

In it she will describe the love and struggles of a father raising his daughter and instilling in her the belief that she can be whoever she wants.

“I will be telling them of events through anecdotes from my life. There will definitely be an emotional sense but as a performer I will be open to that,” said Sameena who lives at the family home in Halifax and who has four older sisters and a brother.

“My father has been amazing and supportive and I am so pleased he is able to come along,” said the former Halifax High School pupil.

Baabul was nine years as an idea and has been developed to stage with the help of verd de gris arts over a number of months. Sameena, the only member of her family to pursue a career in the performing arts studied drama at Huddersfield University.

Much of her work as a performer, producer, writer and director has been in the Huddersfield area, though she is no stranger to Square Chapel having performed there as a 12 year old while at high school.

“We have known Sameena for a number of years and really wanted to give her an opportunity to get this important and very personal piece made,” said Jeff Turner of verd de gris. “Our work is very much about developing arts and community programmes that bring different groups of people together, exploring the differences and celebrating the things we have in common.”

More than half of the tickets have already been sold and Sameena says she is hoping for as diverse an audience as possible. “I am really interested to see who comes,” she says.

Baabul is on Tuesday, November 28. Tickets on 01422 349422 or go to www.squarechapel.co.uk