VIDEO: Rehearsals for Peacocks (the play)

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A Wakefield playwright is eagerly awaiting the opening night of her latest show.

Peacocks, written and directed by Shazia Ashraf, will be performed at the Theatre in the Mill at Bradford University on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28.

Loosely based on Shakespeare’s Othello, but set in modern-day Bradford using historical figures from the time of Mughal India, it follows main character Khurram’s struggle from reluctant Prince to proud Emperor.

Ms Ashraf said Peacocks explores ideas of social acceptance and how people can succumb to presumptions about gender, race and status.

The 34-year-old said: “I am really excited and nervous at the same time. This is the first play I have written and directed. It’s new, untested material, and it really does have something for everyone, so I hope people will come and see it. It will make people laugh and there’s a love story.”

Ms Ashraf, of Elder Green, Wakefield, became interested in writing and directing after completing a course for black and Asian writers at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

She went on to take part in a number of other well-known schemes and had mentoring from the BBC Writers room and also runs My Big Phat Writers Group, which supports Black and Minority Ethnic writing.

She added: “I take my inspiration from people and their behaviour. I am very interested in the minorities being represented on stage and in real stories, not clichés.”

Tickets for the play, which starts at 7.30pm on Friday and Saturday with a matinee performance at 2.30pm on Saturday, cost £5 or £3. Call 01274 233200 or email theatre@bradford.ac.uk to book.