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Theatre bird bites (May-June): ‘I Wanna Be Yours’; ‘The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs’; ‘Lotus Beauty’; ‘The Father and the Assassin’; ‘Peaceophobia’

Theatre bird bites (May-June): ‘I Wanna Be Yours’; ‘The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs’; ‘Lotus Beauty’; ‘The Father and the Assassin’; ‘Peaceophobia’

It’s a very busy month as several new plays open – and there’s a good deal of innovation and untold stories to get excited about…

By Mamie Colfox

Themes of cultural divides and the “elephant in the room”…

Ella (Eva Scott) and Haseeb (Usman Nawaz)

AWARD-WINNING slam poet Zia Ahmed’s play ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ is showing at Leeds Playhouse until Saturday (May 14).
The story follows Ella from Yorkshire and Haseeb from London as they begin to fall in love with each other, until “the elephant in the room starts to cause problems in their relationship”. It isn’t clear exactly what the elephant in the room is…you will have to see the play.
With themes of cultural divides and ins and outs of relationships, there are moments of funny family encounters and familiar arguments.
Listing: ‘I Wanna Be Yours’, until May 14, Leeds Playhouse, Playhouse Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UP.

Get ready for laughter in new Iman Qureshi play…

EMERGING playwright Iman Qureshi’s new work , ‘The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs’ starts on Friday (May 6) and runs until June 11 at the Soho Theatre.
It’s a musical comedy about love, queerness and belonging.
Supported by the Cara Delevingne Foundation; lesbian choir, ‘The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs’, seeks to unite a divided community and sing their way to the main stage at Pride. (More on Iman Qureshi here).
Listing: ‘The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs’, May 6- June 11, Soho Theatre Company, 21 Dean Street, London, W1D 3NE
More info/tickets:

Will community spirits be lifted…?

Tanwant (Zainab Hasan), Reita (Kiran Landa) and Pinky (Anshula Bain)

PREMIERING at Hampstead Theatre in London from Friday (May 13) is Satinder Chohan’s latest play, ‘Lotus Beauty’.
The play focuses on five multigenerational women’s intertwined lives as they get beauty therapy from Reita’s Salon, set in Southall, West London – where they chat about their struggles and successes. But when honest truths are uncovered, will the community be able to raise the spirits of those returning to the salon? Satinder Chohan’s previous work includes the widely acclaimed, ‘Made in India’ , which covers surrogacy and women in India giving birth to children who would be raised in the West. It went on a national tour in 2017.
Listing: ‘Lotus Beauty’ by Satinder Chohan, May 13-June 18, Hampstead Theatre, Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage, London, NW3 3EU
More info/tickets:

Gandhi v Godse…

CONTROVERSIAL play ‘The Father and the Assassin’, directed by Indhu Rubasingham, starts tomorrow (May 12) at the National Theatre – with an end date still to be confirmed.
The play follows journalist and extreme nationalist, Nathuram Godse, the man who murdered Gandhi, and traces his life during India’s fight for independence, his devout worship of Gandhi initially – to his radicalisation and murder of him in Delhi in 1948.
Written by leading Indian playwright Anupama Chandrasekhar this is sure to be a thought-provoking drama. Her play, ‘When the Crows Visit’ at The Kiln in 2019, tackled rape culture, sexual violence and entitlement in a play set in India but covering these universal and difficult issues (See review link here).
In more recent times, Godse’s reputation has undergone a revision in India, with some arguing he is much misunderstood, while accepting his espousal of violence was wrong.
Listing: ‘The Father and the Assassin’ by Anupama Chandrasekhar, from May 12, National Theatre, London, SE1 9PX.
More info/ tickets:

Part play, part car meet…

Casper Ahmed playing himself

THREE men, Ali, Sohail and Casper are the subject of ‘Peaceophobia’, a play responding to the rise of Islamophobia around the world and co-directed by Zia Ahmed (same as above) and the Speakers Corner Collective.
Part play, part physical car meet in an actual car park, these three men deal with the consequences of growing up in the shadow of the Bradford Riots, 9/11 and police harassment with a stage consisting of a Supra, a Golf and a classic Nova cars. Conceived in Bradford and co-written by Ahmed and car enthusiasts group, Bradford Modified Club, this play is mounted by the award-winning Common Wealth theatre company, which specialises in unusual settings for plays and Fuel Theatre, which focuses on new and innovative work.
Speakers Corner Collective is a women’s community group based in Bradford.
Showing as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, there will be performances between Wednesday (May 18) and Saturday (May 21), at the Rose Lane Car Park in Nor Norwich.
Listing: ‘Peaceophobia’ by Zia Ahmed and Mohammad Ali Younis, Casper Ahmed, and Sohail Hussain, May 18-21, Rose Lane Car Park, Mountergate, Norwich, NR1 1PY.

More info/tickets:

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture