The story behind The Crows Plucked Your Sinews
Family connections led Hassan to the story of the legendary Somali leader, national poet and military genius Mohammed 'Abdille Hassan, who fought a religiously inspired guerrilla war against the British colonial army for two decades at the start of the twentieth century. A central and controversial figure in Somali history and culture, he is almost completely unheard of in the west. The title of the play comes from a line in 'Abdille Hassan's most famous poem Koofil.
Next came Hassan’s discovery of a bundle of personal family letters buried deep in a Leeds archive and unread for 100 years. These turned out to be a poignant hand-written account of a young aristocratic British officer’s fruitless and ultimately tragic pursuit of the Somali rebel leader.
Hassan’s deep respect and regard for the free-spirited Somali community of south east London, who maintain grace under pressure, combines with these untold and obscured histories to make The Crows Plucked Your Sinews a unique and powerful theatrical creation for the contemporary British stage. originally performed by Yusra Warsama, the 2017 tour features gifted performer and artist Aisha Mohammed.