The Farm – Theatre Wallay Studio


by Atif Siddique

Pakistanis love chicken. See, for a country still struggling with poverty, chicken is kind of a treat. I’m not bringing this up because of our legitimate love for food. This is actually about having a third space to do theatre.

Ok, so we’re a theatre group. And we’ve been recently rendered homeless by our city’s administrative policies. We’ve dragged our shopping cart all around the city looking for a place to set up shop.

So, back to the chickens. They’re good animals. Some in Pakistan consider the rooster a particularly holy animal, because when it crows it’s considered a call to prayer. But the moment we realize that the rooster is a better Muslim than we are, we decide to eat it. But like I said, this is not about chickens. It’s about theatre.

So we’ve found a place. It’s roomy, it’s discrete, it’s away from the city. It has a perfect courtyard that can serve as an outdoor performance space. There are some rooms and a hall, where we got together and wrote this show. The toilets are actually almost behind the entire place. It’s obvious that the previous tenants of this place went to the bathroom everywhere, in every room. You can smell it. But it’s okay. No, we Pakistanis don’t just go, everywhere, in every room. The place was actually a poultry farm. The hall I wrote all this in, is a cozy little butchery, and we’ve put a red carpet in there, not as a symbol of the blood that was spilt, but as a sign of warmth and creativity.

But yes… it’s was a poultry farm. And we’re constantly trying to justify to ourselves and our visitors, that despite the hundreds of chicken souls that departed from this place, we can still have new beginnings here. And we have a very strong feeling that it’s actually gonna be great.