Far Above Rubies

Hagar, Sarah and Eve discuss the beginning of the world and the position of women.

A twelve year old Iranian girl rides on her bike with her hair flowing freely in the wind and is beheaded for immodesty.

A Jewish granddaughter challenges her grandmother’s vision of womanhood.

In Jerusalem a Jewish woman is harassed by Jews and Muslims for having bare arms.

An Iranian woman who has left for the West must face a challenge from the women left behind.

The play examines how monotheism sees the role of women.



She who gives birth to a girl

Deserves to be hit with a pottery mug

And her husband not to sleep with her any more
She deserves his anger

She deserves to be tied up

But she who gives birth to a boy

Deserves the minaret and the village

Deserves a basket of henna

Jingling anklets

A sheep slaughtered for her

Great celebration

A big barbecue

And the fat tail of a sheep

She who brings good news of a son

Deserves a camel load of good things

A house facing East towards Mecca

Servants and slaves

A good foreign slave

A handsome man servant

And she who bears a girl

Deserves a blow with a mug

Deserves to stay at home

To be hidden away

Production History

Premiered 1983 Drill Hall

Painting by Anne Sassoon