Princess Suffragette

written by Subika Anwar-Khan | directed by Charlie Ely

Princess Suffragette is a contemporary (re)telling of of Princess Sophia Duleep Singh’s journey, from her aristocratic upbringing as the daughter of an exiled Maharajah, to her political awakening as the first British-Asian Suffragette.

This inventive new play about identity, risk and heart, twists our notions of feminism and explores defining moments of British and Indian history, through the eyes of an extraordinary woman at the centre of it all. This true story is brought to life by versatile performers embodying a variety of performance styles, bold imagery, and an eclectic soundtrack of modern Asian-fusion music.

The play premiered in 2017, to honour roughly 100 years since the Suffragette movement and the 70th anniversary of both India and Pakistan’s independence.

Listen to our conversation with Shazia Awan on BBC Asian Network here

Subika Anwar-Khan is a playwright and actor, currently an Associate Artist at Curve Theatre, Leicester.  Her first full-length play Stateless, was commissioned by Kali Theatre (Tristan Bates, 2016). She has developed new scripts with companies including The Royal Court, Nottingham Playhouse, The Roundhouse, Royal and Derngate, Tamasha Theatre and The Birmingham Rep, and attended playwriting courses with Hightide and Soho Theatre. She is developing a one-woman show with Camden People’s Theatre and Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre. ‘A remarkably mature play […] a pitch perfect script’ ★★★★ – The Independent on Stateless

VAULT Festival, London (2017)


Jessica Andrade – Sophia
Navinder Bhatti – ensemble
Avita Jay – ensemble
Megan McKie-Smith – ensemble

Creative Team

Subika Anwar-Khan – Playwright
Emily Bestow – Set and Costume Designer
Charlie Ely – Director and Dramaturg
Sarah McColgan – Lighting Designer
Suren Seneviratne aka My Panda Shall Fly – Sound Designer

“an intriguing narrative about the risks and challenges of feminism […] beautifully written” – London Theatre 1 – ★★★★

“immersive and engaging [with] four amazing performers” – London Theatre 1

“an epic account of Sophia Duleep Singh” – British Theatre Guide

“Charlie Ely captures the feeling of being of the diaspora, ensuring colonial wooden furniture and Indian inspired drapes set the scene. Scenes changes take on mini narratives themselves, beautifully choreographed sequences move the production along swiftly and smoothly.” – Theatre Full Stop

Princess Suffragette is a play that shows us how far we have come politically, whilst also offering a timely reminder of Pankhurst’s famous words: “never give up the fight”.” – Exeunt

Audience tweets:

@lydiabakelmun: Bravo @GreyGreenTheatr bringing an incredible true story to light in a year of cultural exchange ????#PrincessSuffragette

@weare_sass: We LOVED #PrincessSuffragette and it’s versatile portrayal of Asian + female identity under British rule – amazing work! ??

@mdkactor: #BRITISH #INDIAN #HISTORY brought to life through the amazing story of #PrincessSuffragette!! SUPERB WORK!!

@sleekerr: Just saw #PrincessSuffragette at the Vaults. GO! Last day Sunday, a grand experience. ☆☆☆☆