“Conference of the Birds was an opportunity for cross cultural collaboration, to work with a company of professional actors, to create a beautiful work of art and storytelling,” says Salima Bhatia, one of the performers. She recalls with pride how the Centre was transformed with lighting, sound and theatre seating, as stories from Muslim culture and heritage were shared with the wider community. “It was ground breaking — we had never done something like this before, and it opened up the Centre in a whole new way.”
But it wasn’t the first time that the grounds of the Ismaili Centre had entertained thespian ambitions. In 1937, the Shakespeare Memorial National Theatre Committee acquired the island site upon which the Centre is presently built, for the purpose of constructing a National Theatre.
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