Presented in association with Birmingham Hippodrome, University of Birmingham, University of Warwick and Guildhall Live Events, part of Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

WASWASA – Whispers in Prayer is an immersive theatrical experience by artist Mohammed Ali that explores the act of Islamic prayer and what that means in a modern, secular society. 

As the daily distractions of modern society consume us, many of us seek that elusive ‘flow state’ or being ‘in the zone’ whether it be through yoga, sports, the arts or worship.

The physical act of prayer now extends beyond religious spaces to places such as parks and city-squares; it spills over into our everyday worlds. It is even visible in sports arenas with athletes prostrating to the ground or raising hands to the sky in moments of triumph. Can we draw parallels between an act of personal faith and our quest to achieve a higher state of focus, or is it one and the same?

The audience is invited to walk through a combination of live performance, art installation and projected film zones that disrupt the conventions of theatre, placing them at the very heart of the story. A replica of the famous Birmingham Qur’an, considered to be one of the world’s oldest, will be integrated into the show. 

Mohammed Ali together with his Soul City Arts team aim to demystify this familiar yet misunderstood tradition of Islamic prayer through an extraordinary multi-disciplinary show that will challenge our perceptions. Mohammed Ali is an award-winning street-artist who has travelled the world with his murals, performances and installations from New York to Bangladesh. He now brings his biggest production to-date, to his home city of Birmingham.

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Generously supported by Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.