Girls in boxing gear lying on floor

No Guts, No Heart, No Glory


No Guts, No Heart, No Glory

No Guts, No Heart, No Glory is based on interviews with Muslim female boxers including two National Muslim female Champions in Bradford, Saira Tabasum and our now coach, Ambreen Sadiq. Our young cast came through an audition process in Bradford schools, most had never performed in front of an audience before we went to Edinburgh festival in 2014. Since then the play has won a Scotsman Fringe First Award, toured the UK and is now touring internationally. The play text has also been published and is available to buy from Oberon. No Guts, No Heart, No Glory was broadcast live in November 2015 as part of BBC4’s Live from Television Centre.

The cast of five shaped the play based on their experiences, their insight and what felt right, what we all wanted to say. During our rehearsals, Israel started their offense on Gaza, some of the actors started going to protests. The crisis in Gaza was a stark reminder as we made the play, to be brave in our own lives and to be brave on a wider, International level, to be proud of where you come from and who you are, it began to feel more and more like a protest play, not one where we say ‘no’, but one where we say ‘yes’. Muslim young women are rarely represented in the media, No Guts, No Heart, No Glory is a chance for Muslim young women to represent themselves, to dance, to box, to swear, to get angry, to enjoy it, to be champions.

Buy the book



Full of sweaty, sweary joy at the sheer possibilities of life

The Guardian

Powerful and triumphant … a celebration of the human will that transcends religion and gender

The Independent

A theatrical experience to remember; raw, heartfelt, blazing with energy and sometimes absolutely beautiful

The Scotsman

An irresistible thing about muscle, guts and the determination to stand up for who you are in an increasingly mad world.



Bradford’s Muslim women boxers enter the ring
Guardian G2, 12th August 2014

‘Extremism fight is battle for all’, Joyce McMillan

‘Not just for boys’: Muslim women take new play about female boxing to the Edinburgh Fringe

The female Muslim boxers making their mark on the Fringe

Women are squaring up to beat stereotypes in the ring
The Herald

Muslim Female Boxing Show Set for Edinburgh Fringe
Scotland on Sunday, 6th July 2014

First Person Interview: Ambreen Sadiq
Financial Times, 3rd August 2013

Female Boxers take to the stage
Asian Express, October 2013

Pick of the Fringe

Radio Times: No2 Things to see at Edinburgh
Scotsman: Top 10 pick of the Fringe
The Times: Top 10 Theatre to see at Edinburgh Fringe


Interview with Ambreen Sadiq, Evie Manning and actors


Women’s Hour BBC Radio 4:
Interview with Ambreen Sadiq and Aisha Zia

Radio 4, Sunday:
Interview with Aisha Zia

Other articles

The links below will open reviews in a pop-up

  • Bradford’s Muslim women boxers enter the ring
    Guardian G2, 12th August 2014


No Guts, No Heart, No Glory was screened live on BBC4 on Sunday 15th November 2015.

No Guts, No Heart, No Glory has toured to Birmingham Rep, Southbank Centre as part of Women of the World festival 2015, Moss Side Fire Boxing Gym in Manchester, Bradford Police Boxing Academy and Sandy’s Gym, Edinburgh at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014.


Photography by Christopher Nunn and Sophie Gerrard

Co-produced by Contact and funded by Arts Council England, Scottish Government, Neighbourhood Partnership (Portobello and Craigmillar), Foundation Scotland, Theatre in the Mill, Bradford Council and Contact.