Maryam Garad

What are the themes of your play?

Reparations is a play about the ramifications of neglect not only when it’s personal but also systemic.  The themes explored in this play are incarceration, neglect, class and race.  Within this play we witness Aisha go on a healing journey after leaving prison, she decides to rid herself of her shoplifting addiction. However, her journey is derailed when she meets V, a wealthy young woman with whom she becomes deeply infatuated.

Why did you write it and why now?

The first thoughts of the play occurred to me during lockdown 2020. When we were first allowed to go on our daily walks outside. I live in a very gentrified area and opposite my council estate, I share a park with a luxury apartment complex.  I found myself envious of these groups of wealthy women doing yoga and found myself fascinated with that jealousy. How poignant would my jealousy be in the absence of love? I think especially during covid for a lot of us the world became a lonely place and that feeling of alienation is only exacerbated when you feel like a social outcast.  So I Intended to write this play to serve as a love letter to all those that have experienced neglect whether it was systemic or personal.

Which playwrights are you influenced by and in what way?

There are so many wonderful playwrights that I am influenced by but the first that comes to mind is Waleed Akhtar. He is one of my favourite playwrights and watching The P word was honestly life changing. I never see plays centering Muslim voices so to see a love story about two Muslim gay men was groundbreaking.  Waleed’s ability to capture the personal and political whilst making a piece that feels so current and real is truly inspiring.  I would love to write a story that has that level of nuance and care! I’m also a massive fan of Jasmine Lee Jones and I adore her work. I read her play seven methods of killing kylie jenner and thought her incorporation of social media was genius. Also, it was my first time reading a play that felt like I was listening to my friends, the dialogue felt personal to me in ways I’ve never experienced.

What do you want to achieve as a playwright?

All my stories are influenced by my identity as a Black British Muslim woman.  I want to write stories that allow people from similar backgrounds to me to see themselves on the stage.  I grew up loving stories but never thought I’d be a playwright.  I thought this industry only cared for stories about the white upper class and I know a lot of black and brown working-class kids feel that now, and I hope my work in some way can change that.  Ultimately, I want my people to feel seen!

Latest News

Share this page