Umar is a working class actor, writer, director, and a theatre maker, focused on socially engaged work. Born in Pakistan, he was brought up in Glasgow, and now, he is a proud honorary Smoggie!
His position as an Associate Artist of both ARC Stockton and Proteus Theatre Company gives him a platform to develop work for people of colour. Umar was also a cofounder of Bijli, a theatre company focused on creating work to encourage diversity across cultures and art forms for Scottish and UK communities, and beyond. Bijli was the inaugural company in residence at National Theatre of Scotland.
As a first generation migrant, Umar is passionate about exploring, learning and sharing global human stories of belonging, family, community and displacement, closer to home.
His writing credits include: The Village (Diwali commission from ARC Stockton); SARA (Middlesbrough Mela Aug 2020); Alex & Eliza (which made The Stage’s top 5 shows of Nov 19); How To Make A Killing in Bollywood (2012/16) which toured nationally following its success at the Edinburgh Fringe; Lupo (2011) for Grahamstown Festival, South Africa; and Sylhety (Bangladesh 2008).
Directing credits include: Alex & Eliza (tour Sep-Nov 19); HaIR (19); One Mississippi (Oct 17); If I had a Girl (April 17); How To Make A Killing In Bollywood (2012/16); Lupo (2011); and Sylhety (2008).
Acting credits include: Distraction Agent, Third Angel (2020); Multiverse, Unfolding Theatre (2020); The Village, ARC Stockton (2020); SARA, Middlesbrough Mela (2020); The Department of Distractions, Third Angel (2020); The Three Bears, Kitchen Zoo (2019); Alex & Eliza (2019); HOME, Christopher Green (2019); How To Make A Killing in Bollywood (2019); Macbeth, Proteus Theatre Company (2019); My Name Is, Tamasha Theatre Company; Re-Union (7:84 Theatre Company, Scotland); and Theatre UnCut (Traverse Theatre)
Umar is currently in the process of writing and directing two new projects that have been funded by ACE (Arts Council England). Welcome to the Jungle is a piece about immigration and substance abuse in the North East of England and beyond. (There is a casting call currently live for a South Asian female performer for an R&D week on this production.) Bird in the Window is a physical theatre show about the effect of grief in children. Children theatre. (Co- Writer/Director).