‘We Are Lady Parts’ comedy series about all-female Muslim punk group is about to bring down the house
The morning of her Vogue shoot, Anjana Vasan joins me on Zoom from her home in North West London. Flanked by houseplants and bathed in the dappled early spring sun, the 34-year-old actor is an image of serenity. Thoughtful and self-assured, she’s a world away from the hilarious, nervous, quick-talker, husband-seeking, east London resident she plays on Channel 4. We are lady pieces, overflowing comedy unlike anything you’ve seen before.
The brainchild of writer-director Nida Manzoor, the six-part sitcom centers around an all-female Muslim punk group in desperate need of a lead guitarist. It revolves around a perfect-note performance quintet: Sarah Impey as Saira, a grungy butcher turned singer; Juliette Motamed as Ayesha, a snappy thresher who lights the moon as an Uber driver; Lucie Shorthouse as manager of the Momtaz group, who vapes behind her niqab and works daily in a lingerie store; and Faith Omole as Bisma, bassist and purveyor of feminist graphic novels.
They find what they lack in Amina, a doctoral student and sometimes a musician hosted by Vasan with dizzying comedic brilliance. “In other shows, you would think it was amazing to see one of these characters, but here it’s all,” says Vasan, whose sparkling brown eyes and general exuberance make her look au less ten years younger than his years. . “I never thought that the role of a dark-haired nerd who loves folk and country music would exist for me.”
Born in India and raised in Singapore, she had a brief stint as a club singer before moving to the UK for drama school (“I got my indefinite leave this year” , she said later). Roles on stage – A midsummer night’s dream at the Globe in 2016 – and on screen – Sex education, Mogul Mowgli – followed, although Vasan admits that she got used to playing supporting roles. “I did the understudy and a play that dozens of people saw,” she adds, laughing. “It’s only been over a year since I had my first main game.”