New York | 2h 15m | Already closed


From 40 critic and 3 member reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Potent, Great writing

About the show

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

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.

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "'Nirbhaya' is one of the hardest experiences an audience can face...There is the feeling of being trapped while watching 'Nirbhaya'; the descriptions of events are utterly sickening, and yet the stories must not be ignored. 'Nirbhaya' speaks out against the complicity of staying silent, and while this play may be too much for many to endure, it is an unforgettable and beautifully crafted piece of theatre." Full Review

Homegrown (India)

for a previous production "Every now and then, you’ll witness a moment of theatre so powerful, you forget it’s a play at all. ‘Nirbhaya’ is one such play...It leaps from the pages of the script and into your soul." Full Review

Vulgo (Ireland)

for a previous production "'Nirbhaya' is a fierce and finely woven tapestry of re-enacted testimonies...It’s rare to experience theatre so pure and true to this ancient Aristotelian dynamic to bring about a profound awakening and transformation in the spectator, and through us, to impact on the community at large. What I mean is, to heal the city." Full Review

The Edinburgh Reporter

for a previous production "'Nirbhaya' is an extraordinarily powerful issue based drama...Political and yet universal, angry yet restrained, so brutal at times I had to look away, so beautifully focused that an hour and thirty five minutes passed without my noticing. This play should tour the world and help try to make it a better place. Unmissable." Full Review

Herald Scotland

for a previous production "The pain and outrage caused by the attack have grown into a resonating work of theatre...The genius of this piece is that Farber and her cast have, rather than create another work of documentary drama, turned to the unique capacities of live theatre...This piece combines the presentation of unbearable facts with ingenious aesthetics in a manner so brilliant that it is, surely, one of the most powerful and urgent pieces of human rights theatre ever made." 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

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

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

Wow 24/7 (UK)

for a previous production "Farber uses all her skill as a theatre-maker to create a show that is as beautiful as it is hard-hitting...It also, most memorably, exposes all the different beauties and strengths of the six great women who make up the cast; their stories full of tears and rage, their songs, their radiance, and above all, their shared determination that this death, among so many, will be the one that changes things, for good." 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

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

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

Nada Brahma

for a previous production "You feel like a fly on the wall, watching the injustice happen and subsequently feeling the pain that young woman may have felt...'Nirbhaya' was an affirmation and that a dangerous attitude towards women in India really affects the majority who have been suffering in silence for too long." Full Review

Fringe Review (UK)

for a previous production "What makes this show outstanding is the way in which Art and life blurs in front of us...This can’t be reviewed as simply Theatre...This is Art at its highest purpose...bearing witness...inspiring change...strengthening the power of speaking truth." 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

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

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intense, Masterful

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

Edgy, Absorbing, 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.

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Potent, Intense, 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"

Cast & Creatives

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