Accidentally Muslim @ Edfringe 2019

Accidentally Muslim: Lauren Booth presents an extraordinary, spiritual journey in this surprising one woman show. From high-flying mainstream journalist to practicing Muslim and human rights activist – this is a true story for our times. Based on her autobiography ‘Finding Peace in the Holy Land’ Lauren Booth presents a vivid account of her voyage of internal discovery with characters including Imran Khan, Tony Blair and George Galloway. 

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Accidentally Muslim Performance Details 

Gilded Balloon Billiard Room (Venue 14)

July 31 – August 26 12 – 1pm  (except August 15) 

What was the inspiration for the work?
My memoir, Finding Peace In The Holy Land, was published in 2018. The stories in it, the travels, the spiritual quest just cried out to be dramatised so here we are!
What kind of wider impact in terms of conversations do you hope the work will produce?

I constantly get asked the question: Why would an educated woman, from the West accept a faith as ‘backward’ and anti feminist as Islam? The framing of faith as entirely negative is limiting to life experience. By getting behind the scenes of this spiritual adventure story audiences get to relax with the question ‘what’s this life thing all about?’

How far does the content of the work influence your dramaturgical process? (or – what is the relationship between form and content?)

This is not a monologue, but a dramatised helter-skelter which screeches to a halt when the protagonist (me) gets faced with huge life moments: birth, marriage, loss. The content drives the form, non stop action and humour.
Why are there so few shows by Muslims or about Islam at the Fringe?

Who is mad enough to get up and talk about this when outside festivals the atmosphere is so challenging? Muslims are cautious of putting ourselves in the public realm – with good reason. But what many don’t realise is that the Edinburgh audience embraces provocative, beautiful narratives and questions.

What makes you want to make theatre rather than another art?

I love to write. But this is an entertainment age, where dramatisations help form understanding and – opinions.

DSC09370Is theatre – and the Fringe – a good place to provoke conversations?

It’s THE place : )

Travels in Palestine and Iran brought Lauren Booth into contact with a new way of life and an unsought after leap of faith. 

From a bohemian childhood, as the daughter of famous TV and film actor Tony Booth (‘Till Death Us Do Part’, ‘East Enders’ ‘Coronation Street’), this nuanced one-woman show sweeps from 1970’s North London to the mosques of the Middle East, exploring celebrity, personal tragedy, and moments of comedy and realisation. 

Today Lauren Booth, who trained as an actress, is on a mission to challenge assumptions about the Muslim faith and way of life. 

She says: “I want the Edinburgh audience to travel with me on an extraordinary adventure which happens to be my life. I hope people will come and enjoy the story and where it takes us.’ 

Director of Accidentally Muslim, Tom Sergeant says: “It is a real privilege for me to work with Lauren at a time when there is so much misunderstanding and division in society. It’s a story of humour and hope and personal transformation.” 

Critic and TV producer Victor Lewis Smith said of Lauren Booth’s autobiography: “’Poignant, brilliantly joined up writing and joined up thinking. By turns, funny and moving, even for me as an atheist!” 

Karen Koren, Artistic Director of Gilded Balloon, says, “We are delighted to host Accidentally Muslim as a part of our 2019 programme. Its themes complement our focus this year, which is on strong women’s voices.” 

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