Shamshad Khan

Poet, Resilience & Success Coach

The Moonwatcher

The Moonwatcher is a show that combines poet Shamshad’s insightful and thoughtful poetry with Horse + Bamboo’s trademark use of powerful narrative and imagery, using masks, puppetry, film and music. A stunning multimedia show. The Moonwatcher asks where do any of us really belong?

 Please scroll down for The Moonwatcher video

Written and Directed by
Bob Frith and Shamshad Khan
Music by
Arun Ghosh
Animation by
Kain Leo


Audience feedback:

“Such a compelling story, so innovative and with the puppet – human dynamic brought something completely original to theatre.” Royal Exchange Studio, Manchester

  • “It was a poignant story of love and courage… I really enjoyed the poetry and the stagecraft.” Heaton Community Centre, Newcastle

“What an incredibly moving & powerful show. Fantastic music, visuals & most of all performance by brilliant actors. Lovely show”. Royal Exchange Studio, Manchester

“It was extremely moving and beautiful – Very privileged to have hosted the show.” Sarah Punshon, artistic director, The Duke, Lancaster

The Moonwatcher was inspired by families in Haslingden and Rawtenstall who engaged with the Different Moons arts and heritage project between 2013 and 2016 and themes Shamshad shared from her own experience and insights.

A young girl travels half way around the world to be with her husband. A generation later, her daughter now struggles to find where she belongs. The Moonwatcher is their story; how their different values impact on the complex relationship of one mother and her daughter.

The Moonwatcher Tour, February-March 2018

The Dukes, Lancaster; The Met, Bury; The Grand, Clithero; The Studio, Royal Exchange, Manchester; Seven Arts (in association with SAA), Leeds; The Boo, Rossendale; Universal Hall, Moray; Heaton Community Centre, Newcastle; Unity Hall, Nelson

Below The Moonwatcher Promo with selections from the performance at the Boo.


Gemma Khawaja as Rahmi and Hannah Kumari as Azrah



Written and directed by Bob Frith and Shamshad Khan

Music composed and directed by Arun Ghosh

Visual story by Bob Frith

Poetry/spoken script by Shamshad Khan

Set design and make by Bob Frith, Gretchen Maynard-Hahn

Puppets created by Gretchen Maynard-Hahn

Suitcase scenes created by Alastair Price

Masks created by Bob Frith

Costumes and family photos -« the Khan family

Animations by Kain Leo

Haslingden Film by Daniel Whelan

Lighting design by Phil Milston and Leon Smith

Stage manager ~ Leon Smith

Puppet Consultation by Mark Whitaker

Produced by Esther Ferry-Kennington


Many thanks to the following for their help

The Horse + Bamboo staff team

STUN studio, Manchester for use of space. The Khan family and Ahmed
Masoud for feedback on the script. Rose Bibby, Paul Hartley from InSitu
and Arry Nessa. The Different Moons interviewees and participants from
Rossendale and the Khan family who inspired the story line.


Nelson Outreach project

Project Manager and deviser: Shamshad Khan. Lead Artist: Zara Saghir,
Hannah Kumari, Sarah Yaseen, Jenefa Begum, Mum2Mum group
participants at Marsden Heights College. The Rickshaw artwork at Unity
Hall – Zara Saghir with thanks to the outreach team.