Mama Quilla Productions—Arts for Change

Theatre, film, digital art installations, workshops and print

Artistic Director/Executive Producer: Kay Adshead

Powerful passionate committed piece of theatre that if seen widely enough may change hearts and minds. – The Guardian


This is political theatre at its best. – Scotland on Sunday


Political theatre is alive again.  – Evening Standard

What the Press said: The Bogus Woman

A co-production with the Red Room

Noma Dumezweni as The Bogus Woman by Kay Adshead

The Bogus Woman, The Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh“Writer Kay Adshead presents a searing portrayal of the iniquities heaped on those seeking asylum in the UK… Adshead’s script and [Noma] Dumezweni’s ability to spirit forth her character’s anguish create a turbulent piece of theatre.” – Barry Didcock, Sunday Herald, 13 August 2000


“Kay Adshead’s new play, The Bogus Woman, exposes with horrifying persuasiveness an all too contemporary persecution…This is political theatre at its best.” – Scotland on Sunday, 6 August 2000


“Adshead has researched her play thoroughly and come up with a terrifying scenario…This is a powerful, passionate, committed piece of theatre…This production, staged by the Red Room and Mama Quillo, shows that theatre still has the capacity to address public issues.” – Michael Billington, Guardian, 9 August 2000


“Kay Adshead’s…angry, stripped-down script bleeds humanity.” – Nick Thorpe, Independent, 7 August 2000


“You don’t often hear people crying in the theatre.  But you do during The Bogus Woman…Other Traverse shows seem wan in comparison.” – Susannah Clapp, Observer, 13 August 2000


“This is a beautifully crafted work, designed to make white British people feel sick with shame at what is being done in our name, and, by God, it succeeds.” – Joyce McMillan, Scotsman, 7 August 2000


 “Disturbing, powerful and no quarter given.” – Nick Awde, The Stage, 10 August 2000


“Kay Adshead’s The Bogus Woman…has no truck with impassivity – this monologue, beautifully performed with dignified puzzlement and anger by Noma Dumezweni, hammers at the door of our collective complacency.” – Time Out, 16-23 August 2000


“Whatever your thoughts about political theatre, it cannot be denied that words are a powerful tool; words force the bogus woman from her mother country and throughout the play Adshead’s words are fragile and beautiful, angry and raw.” – Viv Franzmann, The List, 10-17 August 2000


“Do not miss this.  It will disturb and move you profoundly. … I saw several gentlemen and ladies of the press trying to communicate the supreme quality and horror of what they had seen to their colleagues or friends.  None of us could manage to speak for some time.”  – Thelma Good,


“…Adshead has created a sister for Medea and Antigone.” – Robert Thomson, Herald, 8 August 2000


The Bogus Woman, The Bush, London“Kay Adshead’s devastating, well-researched play lifts the lid on aspects of our immigration procedures…heart-wrenching without descending into sentimentality…The audience was so moved that for a while the applause was shocked into silence.  Political theatre is alive again.”  – Rachel Halliburton, Evening Standard, 12 February 2001


“Kay Adshead’s monologue, which won a Fringe First award at last year’s Edinburgh Festival, is a powerful and moving story…Although the situation is occasionally almost unbearably bleak, there are also moments of wry humour and warm-hearted human empathy…Imaginatively directed by the Red Room’s Lisa Goldman, this punchy drama uses the simplest props…to tell an epic and touching story which will anger anyone who doesn’t have a heart of stone.”  – Aleks Sierz, What’s On, 14 February 2001


“The Bogus Woman is polemical theatre but it is also funny and neither crude nor numbingly aggressive.   Adshead’s often densely poetic script moves easily between Kafkaesque interrogations, simple documentation, introspection and action.” – Stephen Brown, Metro, 16 February 2001


“Kay Adshead’s…damning solo piece about the British treatment of asylum-seekers might make you think you’re about to see a piece of old-style agit-prop that is likely to be seen only by the converted.  But such is the meticulous research behind Adshead’s play that makes it ring with truth, and such is the power of Noma Dumezweni’s performance, that you hope it will be seen by even the most complacent members of new Labour.” – Ian Johns, The Times, 14 February 2001


“Adshead paints a chilling portrait of a suspicious bureaucracy long since drained of compassion.  Lisa Goldman’s production is agit-prop theatre at its best – detailed, urgent, compassionate and blessed with a deeply-felt performance from Dumezweni.” – Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, 12 February 2001


“Thanks to Kay Adshead’s beautiful deft script and Noma Dumezweni’s breathtaking performance this terrifying story is always told with variety and versatility and even, on occasion, with humour.” – Lucy Powell, Time Out, 14-21 February 2001


“Adshead’s angry indictment…paints a picture of cruelty…We see a Britain here of unrelenting, mean-spirited bigots, whose political masters would be horrified to be put in the same category.  But Adshead is right to make the connection.” – John Nathan, Jewish Chronicle, 23 February 2001


“The great strength of Kay Adshead’s The Bogus Woman…is that it transmits the writer’s incredulous shock at the operation of the asylum system in this country…The play is written in anger but rooted in reality.” – Michael Billington, Guardian, 17 February 2001


The Bogus Woman, Radio 3“Whatever humiliations and indignities his new life in prison may hold, [Jeffrey Archer] would count himself lucky compared to the majority of those detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure, particularly the asylum seekers.  If he doesn’t I shall send him a tape of last week’s Radio 3 Sunday play, The Bogus Woman, which electrified audiences and critics alike at the Edinburgh Festival. Kay Adshead’s story of a young black woman’s ordeal when she exchanges one form of persecution for another in the English prison system was not for the faint-hearted.  As for Noma Dumezweni, the Nigerian [sic] actress who played all the parts – victim, murderers, detainees, wardens, lawyers, judges – hers was a tour de force performance worthy not merely of a Sony Award but an Oscar.” – Sue Arnold, The Observer, 23 July 2001

© Mama Quilla Productions 2009. All rights reserved.