Uzma Hameed is a writer, director and dramaturg in theatre and dance. Victoria is her first collaboration with Cathy Marston and Northern Ballet.
As a child, Uzma took classes in ballet and ballroom dance and subsequently trained in classical Indian Kathak with Alpana Sengupta and Sushmita Ghosh. Having graduated from Cambridge University with a First in modern and medieval languages, she worked as a dancer, actor and arts programmer, going on to form her own theatre ensemble, The Big Picture Company, in 1997. Established in response to the dearth of sophisticated roles for second generation Asian actors, the company also brought together Uzma’s interest in different performance languages and quickly gained a reputation for innovative visual theatre which combined new writing with choreography and film. For Big Picture, she wrote and directed plays such as Prophetess, Taj and A Dark River, which toured extensively around the UK and enjoyed London seasons at The Young Vic, BAC and Riverside Studios.
From 2002-2005 Uzma was Associate Director at Derby Playhouse, where she brought her distinctive cross art form style to productions of Shirley Valentine, Dracula (co-directed with Stephen Edwards), Frankenstein (with former Royal Ballet Principal Sarah Wildor in the role of Elizabeth,) and her own controversial adaptation of Schiller’s Mary Stuart, which drew parallels between the threat to Elizabethan England from Catholic Rome, and the fear of Islamist terrorism today.
Uzma also directed for Kali Theatre, led projects at the National Theatre Studio and taught on workshops and courses for a variety of organisations including the LPO and the International Institute of Performing Arts, Paris. Collaborators in her theatre work include composers Paul Clark (The Clod Ensemble) and Gary Yershon; choreographers Claire Russ and Arthur Pita; designers Leslie Travers, Jon Bausor and Sarah Blenkinsop; and lighting designers Lucy Carter and Chris Davey.
After becoming a mum in 2006, Uzma took a break from theatre and co-wrote a novel The Kinship of Djinns, with her sister Ambreen. Recently she has returned to dance as dramaturg to Wayne McGregor on The Royal Ballet’s productions of Woolf Works, Obsidian Tear and Multiverse, and on Company Wayne McGregor’s Autobiography.
She has presented dance programmes for BBC Radio for Schools, been a speaker at Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Royal College of Art and the Woolf 2017 conference, and written for Dance Theatre Journal, Dance Now and Animated. She has served on the Board of the Foundation for Community Dance and was for many years a Trustee of Studio Wayne McGregor.