Jatra Theatre [working title]

Bangla Folk

Dance, Digital, Music/Sound, Puppetry, Theatre, Walkabout

Bangla Folk have been researching Jatra, a style of Bangladeshi heritage social theatre and they’re bringing it to the UK and to contemporary audiences.

Jatra is full of song, dance, social issues of the day and vibrant colours and costumes.

Bangla Folk‘s social media campaign has been active since their research trip to Bangladesh in March 2022. Their theatre piece will be full of colour and music, and will transport audiences to the colours, sights and sounds of Bangladesh.

Hashu Mohammed (SMASHBengali), a finalist on Channel 4’s The Circle 2021, will be the lead performer in the show and is now working for the BBC Asian Network.

About Bangla Folk

Bangla Folk is a collective of four artists: Arry Nessa, Rahima Begum, Hashu Mohammed (SMASHBengali) and Esther Ferry-Kennington.

Arry Nessa is a community activist and founder of Apna Rossendale and the Apna Arts Collective South Asian Womens Centre & Arts Gallery. Arry has been the driving force behind bringing together the Bangla Folk collective. Arry began her creative journey working with Horse + Bamboo Theatre on their Different Moons heritage programme. Her largest event to date is the Swindon Boishakhi Mela in 2019.

Rahima Begum is a London based artist, consultant and activist. She is the co-founder and director of international human rights organisation, UK charity and grassroots movement Restless Beings. Rahima is also a board member on A Season of Bangla Drama, supported by Tower Hamlets Council.

Hashu Mohammed is an actor and comedian. After graduating with a 1st-class integrated MA from the University of Birmingham, Hashu set up his YouTube channel under the alias ‘SMASHBengali’. He was a contestant on Channel 4’s hit reality show The Circle, where he impersonated his 63-year-old uncle. Hashu has theatre experience in a starring role in the Great Muslim Panto in 2019.

Esther Ferry-Kennington is a theatre producer, director and programmer and has worked on outdoor theatre in a variety of settings and styles. Esther is also a performer in a number of folk arts including shanty singing, Morris and rapper dance. Esther is Executive Producer of Lancashire Encounter festival, is Creative Development Director at NPO Horse + Bamboo Theatre and is an experienced fundraiser.

Funding, commissioning and partner credits:

Online social media content creator: SMASHBengali

Co-produced by Horse + Bamboo Theatre, co-produced and presented by Lancashire Encounter.

Supported by Lancashire Encounter, Preston City Council and Without Walls.