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Subika Anwar

An Actor and Writer

What shows or projects have you done with ETT?


Where is home for you?


Where is your home away from home?


How did you bring home with you on tour?

Unfortunately I didn’t get to tour but if I did then it would be little things like speaking with new people, visiting interesting places to get to know the area so that I can get that sense of belonging.

What are your touring essentials?

Notepad so that I can write as well as keep a journal of my time spent on tour. Also a good pair of trainers. I love running in new places as it helps me to get to know the area better.

What’s your go-to recipe whilst on tour?

I’ve grown up on various Pakistani dishes so a staple curry would help me feel like I’m back at home.

Touring is important because it allows audiences from the country to engage with compelling work that is both relevant and challenges

If you never tasted a bad apple, you would not appreciate a good apple. You have to experience life to understand life. When life throws you lemons, make lemonade.

Which artist(s) do you most admire and why?

I read a lot of plays as I also write as well as act. I love all of Debbie Tucker Greens’ plays because they’re able to capture how I feel whilst also being unbiased. Her plays also challenge my thinking.

What music inspires you?

Pakistani Ghazals, politcal hip hop and jazz

What image or video inspires you?

One of my favourite artists is a Sudanese Painter called Ibrahim El-Selahi. So a lot of his work resonates with me and inspires my own work as a Writer. I also keep a vision board in my room. The pictures mainly consist of women who I look up to like Jameela Jamil, Lupita Nyong’o winning an Oscar and giving a speech, Mindy Kaling, Gemma Khan wearing a Me Too badge and Meghan Markle.



What, for you, makes a good piece of art?

Something that can make me question my own perception of the world and challenge the status quo. Twilight: LA Riots 1992 by Anna Deavere (recommended by a Playwright to me) did that very recently.

What have been your career highlights so far?

Testmatch, Performing at the Gate and working with Director Aleem Khan

What you would say to emerging artists to encourage them to take their work on the road or join an ETT tour?

I would say to break things down. Don’t think about everything you have to do at once. By applying yourself daily, being creative will become an everyday practice. And also remember that this career is here for your lifetime if you let it, so don’t feel like you have to get everything into that one show. And don’t be scared to say no. Trust that something bigger and better is out there. In saying no to something that doesn’t quite resonate with you, you will open up the space for that better option.

remember that this career is here for your lifetime if you let it, so don't feel like you have to get everything into that one show

Having something to fight for also sparks my creativity where I feel compelled to write.

Window or aisle seat?


Favourite way to travel?


If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?

I think I would have all the tele super powers and then be upgraded to acquire Phoenix powers so I could sort out the world. If I had to destroy it and rebuild it for the good of mankind then I think i would.

Our industry is currently experiencing an incredibly challenging time. Do you have any recommendations for others of how to stay hopeful and creative during this time? 

Films and videos have a huge impact on me. I watched a film recently called Late Night by Mindy Kaling and felt hopeful that the industry was changing. It covered themes and issues that I’ve felt and am also passionate about and it was also funny, which is what I need right now. Movements like Black Lives Matter and Me Too have also changed the way I’ve been spoken to and treated by a lot of different people, not just within the arts, but in a lot of situations. And now the state of the theatre is another fight that gives me purpose. Having something to fight for also sparks my creativity where I feel compelled to write. If anyone does wish to watch theatre online then The Stage is a good place to start to know what is out there at the moment. There’s also a site called Thespie and Meetup is always good if you want to join in a discussion after watching something together with other theatre enthusiasts. I also meet regularly with a group of writers and actors every week without fail to either have my work read or help read theirs and give feedback. Get your friends together and agree to do the same. This has also helped me to stay hopeful and creative.

Subika Anwar’s biog:

Subika Anwar-Khan is an Actor and Playwright who studied Creative Writing and English Language. Subika has developed scripts with various theatres and theatre companies like Paines Plough, Birmingham Rep, The Roundhouse and Camden People’s Theatre. Her play Stateless was produced by Kali theatre at the Tristan Bates Theatre and her play Princess Suffragette was on at The Vault Festival. Subika was also the Writer and Performer of her solo show Divided. Subika has also appeared in plays at Theatre503, The Gate theatre, The National theatre, the Royal and Derngate, Leicester Curve and for TV including the BBC and Nickelodeon. She has recently finished filming a role in her first feature film directed by Bafta nominated Aleem Khan. Subika also writes a blog and has a Youtube Channel where she reviews TV, Film and theatre and comments on topics about intersectionality and representation in the industry. She is launching an online dramaturgy service that helps writers finish their scripts for both theatre and on screen.