It’s a story for the ages. A tale as old as time. Amina is looking for love and marriage (while maintaining focus on her microbiology PhD). Saira, Ayesha and Bisma are looking for a lead guitarist for their punk band, Lady Parts. And when their worlds collide, something magic happens.
The latest Channel 4 comedy is smart, bold, creative and funny.It foregrounds British Muslim identitiesthat other television shows don’t goanywhere near.For Nida Manzoor, who created, wrote and directed the series, We Are Lady Parts is a labour of love, born of frustration.
“I was feeling frustrated with being asked to write stereotypical portrayals of Muslim women. I’d had a couple meetings where I’ve been asked to write dramas about honour killings and forced marriages as though that represents everyone,” says Manzoor, a relative newcomer who directed two episode of Doctor Who in 2020.
I wanted to show Muslim women who are complicated and idiosyncratic, but full of joy and laughter
If it is initiallyher thirst for one of the band members’ hot, bearded brother that convincesAmina (Anjana Vasan) to audition for Lady Parts, then the quietly rebellious streak she has been hiding until then leads her to stay. The result is a band – and a series – that blends identity crises and discordant anarchy with a side helping of romcom. And it’s surprisinglycatchy.
“Being slightly annoyed about asked to write a certain thing drove me to ask, what would I really want to do,” continues Manzoor.
“I was meeting really cool artists and musicians – people of colour, Muslim and non-Muslim – who were expressing their identity in the fullness of what it is. And I was really inspired by them. So those two things came together.