Friday 24th November, 7pm - 8pm 

London and online. 

All online links will be sent half an hour before the start time

Book now

A shortened version of a two-act semi-auto-biographical play, written in English, Gujarati and Swahili. Through a multimedia approach Mara Ba tells the life story of Rupa, a Gujarati woman; crossing geographical and cultural boundaries, and traveling in time, from 1960s Kenya to 21st Century England. Exploring themes of disability, race, gender discrimination, familial relationships and love, it engages with worlds of communities and individuals whose stories are often left untold or told by proxies.

Audience Reviews: 

"Mara Ba is about an incredibly strong Kenyan Indian woman, who believes in herself and her disabled daughter, despite the prejudices she encounters, from the white English people but also from her own family."

"I could relate to it from my own lifestyle, found it poignant emotional + powerful. Nostalgia for years of ‘youth’... loneliness of ‘empty’ marriage – 70s discrimination and nationalism, Terror of cancer, stigma of disability. Difference of romantic UK & real UK poverty!"

"I was fortunate to see the original scene reading + marvelled tonight, at how the play has developed into a beautifully produced, entertaining work. Brilliant writing, acting, set + stage management. This work must now tour. It will be well received throughout the UK."


Celine Shamdasani (as Rupa)
Jishnu Soni (as Vijay and Parita)
Sonali Shah (as Priya)

Amelie Davies
Directed by Octavia Nyombi
Stage manager/lighting: Ali Breakwell
Filming by: Jon Legge


About this activity 

Event type: Performance

Age guidance: This activity is recommended for ages 18+.  

Content warning: This activity contains Strong language and references about Racism, Ableism, Sexism, Arranged Marriage and Cancer . 

Duration: This activity is 50 minutes long. 

Interval: This activity does not have an interval.

Pre/post event activity: This activity does not have a post show discussion.

Tickets: Tickets cost £10 and are available to purchase through Eventbrite. Your ticket will also provide you with access to all online events. Please make sure to book your place on any other workshops. 


This performance will have captioning

All workshops and performances in the Social Model…& More Festival will include:

  • In person BSL interpretation 

  • In person level access and accessible toilets 

  • In person dedicated calm room

  • The option to attend online

  • Online performances will include BSL interpretation and captioning. 

Access at Theatre Deli London

Access at Theatre Deli’s London venue including level access throughout, a dedicated calm room and accessible toilets. Read Theatre Deli’s London venue Accessibility guide here. If you have any specific access requirements you would like us to be aware of, please email [email protected].

Covid 19

Please note that we have taken the following precautions to protect audiences from the spread of Covid-19:

  • Reduced capacity for all in person events
  • Provided online options for all events
  • Encouraging audiences, artists and staff to wear masks to in person events if they are able to

Find out more about Sonali Shah

Sonali, the playwright, is a British Indian woman with cerebral palsy. Mara Ba is her first play. She was awarded an ACE R&D grant in 2022, with which she built a creative team and developed Mara Ba to show at Nottingham's Lakeside Arts Centre, with an multi-cultural team and audience. She has worked for Graeae Theatre Co, and performed in their version of Mother Courage. She has performed in amateur musical theatre. She has composed songs for two albums, Phantom in My Dreams and What Game is Life Playing. She wrote the songs Creator and Time for Mara Ba.

Sonali works at University of Nottingham, leading research access to healthcare for disabled people across the life course, and designing creative tools that enhance equality and inclusion. She is passionate about using theatre as a vehicle for social change

Facebook: /sonali.legge

Twitter: @NeverLetDreamGo

The Social Model…& More Festival 

Taking place across Theatre Deli's Sheffield and London venues in November 2023, the festival, which has been curated by artist Caroline Mawer, explores new perspectives on disability and the relationship between disabled people and the world around them.

Find out more about The Social Model…& More Festival here

Booking for this event has now closed.