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The Performance Lab presents

Pitch To The Mix Winner: Cut the Bakwaas 2018

Wednesday 11 April
Main Space
From £6.50
to £8.00
All orders will be subject to a fee of £1.50 except if your tickets are free or if you are a member

In a nutshell

An ode to being unapologetically Brown and British. Join us to converse in an evening of melanated music, performances, and good vibes to decolonise and unify the masses.

Go on...

Cut the Bakwaas is an evening fuelled with art, performances and discussion, exploring the social, political and cultural narratives that articulate what it means to be British Asian in 2018. We invite artists from the South Asian diaspora to showcase their work across all disciplines, to celebrate and champion our communities, and to tell our stories in our own tongues.

The timing of Cut The Bakwaas takes advantage of a convergence of significant cultural moments for British Asians. Riz Ahmed represented the diaspora when he became the first Asian man to win an acting Emmy in 2017, Jameela Jamil is making waves in ‘The Good Place’, and January 2018 saw the 20th anniversary of Goodness Gracious Me first airing on the BBC. The show is a cultural milestone for the South Asian community, showing Britain that their Asian neighbours are capable of being funny, intelligent, dynamic, vulgar, awkward, witty, self-deprecating and ultimately, human.

Cut The Bakwaas considers the legacy of the show where we first got to see our own diverse experiences reflected on screen, and proposes a blueprint for a path forward, creating an arena for the South Asian diaspora to thrive in the British cultural space.

What to Expect

The evening will involve performance, visual arts and a panel discussion, showcasing a colourful spectrum of the British Asian experience.


We represent a unified space, free from any judgement. All individuals welcome regardless of class, gender representation, or ability.

Who's Involved

MAMAMANVZ (@mamamanvz) is a self-taught artist born and raised in West London, UK. In her early teens, her love for the expressive and unbounded nature of Hip-Hop culture showed her the possibilities of conceptualising her journey of self-discovery and reality into forms of art. She finds much inspiration from unapologetic artists in all fields who break boundaries; influences include M.I.A., Frida Kahlo, Missy Elliott and Richard Hamilton.

SHAREEFA  ENERGY (@shareefaenergy) is a London based performance poet, writer, workshop facilitator and aspiring actress and playwright of Indian heritage from Leicester. Shareefa Energy has broken many stereotypes of women who grew up in the Muslim community and pushed boundaries. She received the UK Unsigned Hype Best Spoken Word Artist 2014 award and was invited to perform in Berlin at 'Poetry Meets Hip Hop'. She released her spoken word EP 'Reasoning With Self' in 2015, a neo-soul and jazz production by Meandou.

LELANI ABEYGUNAWARDENE (@beechilles) is a young contemporary artist and writer. As a feminist mixed-race individual, she is passionate about exploring the intersectional points of sexism and racism. Her portraits are inspired by her British, French and Sri Lankan heritage.

BANANA SHARMA (@bananasharma) No stranger to the poetry scene, Banana Sharma is a 23-year-old British Indian writer from Slough. She performs regularly for her local Empoword collective, has featured at events in London, Loughborough and Mumbai, and is currently participating on the Tattva Authorship Programme. Common themes in her work include identity, religion, relationships and loss. 

The Performance Lab is a collective of ambitious creatives with a mission. Co-founded by Divya Satwani and Vikesh Godhwani, it is a platform to develop our craft, connect with likeminded artists and make a change in the industry by diversifying the playing field. Each of us connected because we all had a similar vision- we believe that art is powerful. It can transform spaces, allow us to escape into another world, make people think, heal, empathise and best of all - understand each other regardless of their class, race, gender orientation or ability. We create space for emerging artists to develop and share their work through producing immersive, experimental multidisciplinary events and workshops across London. We are particularly passionate about encouraging work from marginilised communities, particularly WOC, the LGBTQ community, and those with disabilities.

What people are saying

'We collaborated with Divya and Vikesh as artists and part of the curation team for ‘The Garden: After the Bite’. Their ambitious imaginations and determination that anything was possible, was incredibly motivating and inspiring. Their openness to ideas and offering of support and contribution to every angle of the project, made a fantastic collaborative environment to work in' - Lizzie Reid (Visual Artist & Co-Founder of Prgrm2ed Perception)

'The garden was an extremely interesting and enjoyable event. The venue was completely transformed, the entertainment was top notch and the vibe was great. Looking forward to the next event by The Performance Lab!' - Marta Vella (Audience Member)

'Upon meeting Divya it was clear that she was an incredibly innovative and ambitious creative. By honing in on an underserved audience and wanting to platform voices that could inspire young British Asians to pursue their dreams in the creative industry and offer up a selection of future role models, Divya has shown she has an eye for artistic development, understands the need for industry diversity and the importance in championing youth voice, in addition to being an incredibly memorable and likeable personality.' - Nicole Logan (Roundhouse Station Manager)

Find out more


Instagram: @theperformanceLB

Twitter: @performanceLB

Watch a video from The Performance Lab's last event.

Things you should know

The Performance Lab are looking for artists to take part in Cut The Bakwaas! Call Out info here

Suitable for ages 16+

This event is wheelchair accessible.

Book now

Wed 11 April