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Tea with Terrorists

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Artist Profile

Sameena Zehra

Sameena Zehra is an award-winning comedian, storyteller, actor, writer, director and blues singer/songwriter. She has performed her solo shows all over the world, including Edinburgh Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, NZ International Comedy Festival, Brighton Fringe, Nordic Fringe, Adelaide Fringe and New Zealand Fringe, where she was named ‘Outstanding Performer’ in 2017. In 2022, Sameena was nominated for Outstanding Performer at the Wellington Theatre Awards. Before moving to Aotearoa in 2019, Sameena lived and worked in the UK where she performed a season at the National Theatre and toured internationally with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

An intersectional feminist and humanist with a unique take on the world; equally at home exploring the individual experiences of daily life and the larger issues of the world we live in, Sameena’s solo work has always been rooted in the human condition, in holding power to account, in bringing people together in spaces that are tender and robust. This direction was set early on, during her university years in India, creating forum theatre, performed on street corners, exploring a number of diverse topics, including the death penalty, marital rape, the caste system and religious dogma.

Her work is a goulash of storytelling and political commentary, peppered with absurdity, dark humour and personal context. She has also used performance and storytelling to work with victims of domestic violence, and to bring out the stories of, and advocate for refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.

In 2020, an idea that had been percolating for a while came to fruition, and Sameena founded The Magnificent Weirdos, a production company putting access and inclusion at the heart of making art. Currently, Sameena is working on new shows for The Magnificent Weirdos, and juggling a number of other projects, including directing, dramaturgy, Audio Description and  collaborating on a new Folk & Blues album with her long time singing songwriting partner, Mike ‘Dr Blue’.

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