Members say: Intense, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Masterful

About the show

Created in response to the violent gang rape and subsequent death of a Delhi medical student.

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On the night of December 16th, 2012 a young woman and her male friend boarded a bus in urban Delhi heading for home. What followed changed the lives of these two people and countless others forever. A searing new work that cracks open the cone of silence around women whose lives have been shattered by gender-based violence.

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$32 - $67

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Good discounts, but availability varies
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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

The New York Times

"All the women describe the holes left in their lives by violence, gaps into which they feel they can still fall at any moment...A society’s imprisoning silence has been torn open for them...The feeling of having being erased keeps coming up as these women speak. In 'Nirbhaya,' it would seem, they are restoring themselves — and the woman of the play’s title — into visibility." Full Review


"The most harrowing theatrical experience currently in New York....One doesn't walk away with the sense that any of these women are victims: They are survivors. 'Nirbhaya' boldly brings their stories out of the shadows, where far too many abuse victims languish. It's a worthwhile journey, if you're willing to take it." Full Review

Manhattan Digest

"If you realize that your heart has momentarily stopped beating and you are holding your breath, then you will indisputably be eliciting the appropriately human response. Your fellow audience members are likely joining you in this awestruck silence...It is not hyperbolic to proclaim that this may well be the most important and imperishable pieces I have seen in my twenty plus year history of New York City theater." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"The effect of witnessing 'Nirbhaya' unfold can only be marginally described or captured... Each story and connecting every narrative thread, the work tugs, goads, and surges through like dazzling light, even blinding an impassive critic. A poignant song, perfect in its poetry." Full Review

Pop Matters

"'Nirbhaya' is billed as a play, but a more accurate summation would be that it is a testimonial built upon affirmations...'Nirbhaya' is an outstanding and emotionally devastating work that bellows to urgently promote women’s rights...The stirring created by 'Nirbhaya', both the person and the performance, will hopefully lead to a further cultural awakening." Full Review

The New School Free Press

"'Nirbhaya' delivered the emotions that many plays with similarly powerful plots failed to, without sounding like a therapy session...Every single scene...was well thought giving just the right sense of reality without going to the revolting reenactment of it. The play ended beautifully with a powerful portrayal of a martyr that started changes through a groundbreaking work of performing arts." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "There is so much emotion surrounding Yael Farber's 'Nirbhaya' that it may be beyond criticism...It is undeniably powerful and unbearably harrowing...It gives us the tools to empathise, but not the tools to take action. In an intimate venue with the opportunity for discussion afterwards, 'Nirbhaya' could start to change the world; playing to hundreds at a time with no audience aftercare, it veers dangerously close to well-meaning theatrical misery memoir." Full Review

British Theatre Guide

for a previous production "The power of theatrical performance is painfully apparent in this work, which is more a testimony than a play and takes verbatim theatre to a new level...This must surely be the most moving Edinburgh presentation of the year and despite its grim subject matter should not be missed." Full Review

Time Out London

for a previous production "‘Nirbhaya’ isn’t a success through gloss but because of the unvarnished potency of listening to these women share their ordeals...She deserves enormous credit for getting these women comfortable enough to talk about the terrible things that have happened to them. At a time when rape threats have become casual social media currency, it’s intensely sobering to have a play like this that reminds us so viscerally of the real horrors of sexual violence." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "It’s one of the most uncompromising pieces of theatre I’ve ever seen, unbearably tough almost all the time...Farber and her performers are continuing along the trail blazed by the worldwide outcry that followed Nirbhaya’s violation. Proudly, they shatter the pervasive shame culture of silence that surrounds sexual violence against women." Full Review

Irish Times

for a previous production "As the harrowing stories begin, 'Nirbhaya’s' initial effect on the audience is to stun, to cow, to leave us helpless. With a nimble economy of stagecraft oppression is summoned with a heavy air." Full Review

The Irish Independent

for a previous production "This is a terrible, dreadful couple of hours in the theatre: I hope it is a long time before I am so upset again by a similar intensity of feeling. It is also art of the highest order." Full Review

The Independent (UK)

for a previous production "Powerful and incredibly moving, 'Nirhbaya' prises open the crack that the real life event caused, in getting women to speak out about their own experiences of abuse...Farber's compelling language, layered onto the real stories, is mostly violent, angry, poetic and a bit sweary... Farber's message is clear; this is a collective problem and we – men and women – must speak out." Full Review

Manchester Theatre Awards

for a previous production "The text is both brutally direct and opaque, almost lyrical, but constantly disturbing... Farber does not limit the play to being a recitation. Her approach is imaginative...'Nirbhaya' is a powerful play that is shocking for all the right reasons." Full Review

Three Weeks Edinburgh

for a previous production "At times this is intensely uncomfortable viewing...Like the women at its heart, this is a powerful and fearless production." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "One of the most powerful pieces of theatre I’ve ever seen...This is consciousness-raising theatre of the old school...As one performer says, 'We can be silent no more.' That is reason enough to see this urgent, compelling show." Full Review

Upstaged Manchester

for a previous production "This type of production works beyond and outside of the normal constraints of theatre – asking us to question the role of theatre in spreading an important message and how art can bring about change and give people, who have been previously silenced, a voice...This is a brave, real and haunting piece of work which stops you in your tracks, leaving you speechless." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

for a previous production "Whilst the piece overall is well-conceived, some of her choices are a little uninspired...Despite its small flaws 'Nirbhaya' is certainly one of the stand-out shows of this year’s festival: timely, urgent and entirely fearless. Full Review

The Play's The Thing

for a previous production "'Nirbhaya' is, without a doubt, the most remarkable evening I’ve ever spent at the theatre...This is surely a work of theatre like no other." Full Review

True Icon (UK)

for a previous production "'Nirbhaya' means ‘fearless.’ This theatre piece, and the cast within it are beyond deserving of that title...This piece is harrowing but absolutely essential." Full Review

Now Then Magazine

for a previous production "This is not theatre to entertain, but nor is it done to shock. It is done to shine a light, to examine the dark places that too often we avoid...Their pain and hurt can help others, inspiring change that has taken too long to come – allowing 'Nirbhaya', which means ‘hope’, to live up to her name." Full Review

Stand (Ireland)

for a previous production "It is both harrowing and impressive...'Nirbhaya' was very difficult to watch but absolutely worth it...This was strangely a very positive play for me as it marked the possibility of change." Full Review

Entertainment (Ireland)

for a previous production "Yael Farber's brave, vital and, sadly, relevant play 'Nirbhaya' gives a voice to victims of sexual abuse, doing so in a production that is raw, slow- burning and, at times, difficult to watch...Throughout the play, the audience is involved and challenged." Full Review

The Outmost

for a previous production "This piece is so powerful as a play because the performers actively seem to challenge us as they look into the audience at the humanity that has wounded them so...'Nirbhaya' is a rousingly angry and relevant piece of theatre...We are bombarded by the abominable every day and so we build a wall against it. 'Nirbhaya' seeks to leap that wall." Full Review

No More Workhorse

for a previous production "There is no way to soften or fluff up the reality of rape and sexual violence, this play is squirmingly uncomfortable at times...Although intense and shocking there is a message of hope. The first step to ending the cycle of violence is breaking the code of silence and this play is part of a chorus shouting out the truth." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Potent, Relevant

See it if You are ready for gut-punching retellings of disturbing events that affect women all over the world on a daily basis

Don't see it if you think that women who experience violent assaults "had it coming"

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Masterful, Great writing

See it if You like intense emotional true stories, you don't mind openly crying, holding your breath, wanting to scream, wanting to jump on the stage

Don't see it if You get too emotional and can't sleep at night from current events, you want a happy story. This isn't. Prepare to think and talk about this

Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you care about women's rights, social justice, fighting gender-based violence.

Don't see it if you are sensitive to violent themes and scenes of assault.

Cast & Creatives

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