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Theatre bird bites – Autumn calling ‘East is East’; ‘10 Nights’; ‘Rice’; Kali Week on Home; NW Trilogy and ‘The Normal Heart’

Theatre bird bites – Autumn calling ‘East is East’; ‘10 Nights’; ‘Rice’; Kali Week on Home; NW Trilogy and ‘The Normal Heart’

Enjoying being back in the theatre, we here at acv, are very excited to be sharing this about live theatre in person…

By Suman Bhuchar

Celebrating 25 years of George and Ella Khan in ‘East is East’

Couple – Ella (Sophie Stanton) and George Khan (Tony Jayawardena) Pamela Raith Photography

ACTOR turned writer Ayub Khan Din’s autobiographical play of growing up as a mixed race child hiding in his parka coat, ‘East is East’ was first produced to great acclaim in October 1996 by Tamasha Theatre Company.
Headed up at that time by Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith, who directed the show, it went on to win many accolades.
It collected the Best New Writer at the Writer’s Guild Award in 1997 and became a BAFTA award winning film getting the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film of 2000.
This story of intergenerational conflict, identity and belonging, has endured and now celebrates its 25th anniversary production and is directed by Iqbal Khan. It has just finished its run at the Birmingham Rep and will be opening at the National Theatre in London on Thursday (October 7) and then travelling to the Chichester Festival Theatre next month.

East is East – October 7-30 (Lyttelton Theatre)
The National Theatre, Upper Ground London SE1 9PX

More info/tickets:
Chichester Festival Theatre – November 3-6
Chichester Festival Theatre, Oaklands Park, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6AP
Tel: 01243 781312
More info/tickets:

Sleeping and fasting at the mosque – a test of faith for Yasser in ’10 Nights’

Playwright Shahid Iqbal Khan by Darren Robinson

THIS new play by Shahid Iqbal Khan has not been performed before and so enjoys its world premiere this week.
In ‘10 Nights’ character Yasser decides to observe itikaf – sleeping and fasting in the mosque for the last ten nights of Ramadan to focus on his spiritual journey.
However, he soon regrets this decision as he navigates smug worshippers, shared bathrooms, and recurring thoughts of chunky chips! Yasser’s isolation forces him to confront a side of himself he’s been trying to keep hidden.
Two actors, Safyan Iqbal and Zaqi Ismail, play Yasser and the performances will be audio described, creatively integrating captioning and British Sign Language (BSL), and will be performed in a Relaxed Environment.
Directed by Kash Ashrad, the production is presented by Graeae and Tamasha in association with Bush Theatre. Graeae is a theatre company which presents deaf and disabled artists centre stage and challenges stereotypes.
Khan is definitely a rising star and his short play, ‘Never Been Away’ was at Tara Arts as part of the Disproportionally Affected 2020 Collection. He has been selected for a year-long attachment programme — Graeae/Royal Court residency from January 2022.

10 Nights
October 7- November 6 (Wednesdays and Saturday matinees, see website for dates and times)
The Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Rd, London W12 8LJ
More info/tickets:

Indian heritage high-flying executive and Chinese cleaner are two women with strong views on globalisation

Composite image by The Other Richard

AUSTRALIAN Asian writer Michelle Lee enjoys a UK premiere for her play, ‘Rice’.
It tells the story of two woman, one, an Indian Australian, Nisha (Zainab Hasan) who’s a hot-shot executive of a rice producing company and wants to sign a big deal with the Indian government to distribute rice across India, while the other is a Chinese cleaner, Yvette (Sarah Lam), who clears up, while Nisha works late at night in the office.
The two form an unlikely bond and then Yvette’s daughter faces charges after participating in a protest against unethical practices of a supermarket chain.
Directed by Matthew Xia, artistic director of the Actors Touring Company (ATC), this show places women centre stage of a black comedy on global politics, food production and narratives by artists of colour. This play is a co-production between ATC and the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, Surrey.

Rice – October 9-November 13
Orange Tree Theatre, 1 Clarence St, Richmond TW9 2SA 7.30pm & 2.30pm
Box office: 020 8940 3633
More info/tickets:

Kali – New talent, emerging voices and established take on the idea of home

KALI THEATRE marks its 30th anniversary and a return to live performance. These are six plays at Tara Arts in South London. All are a series of script in hand productions of new plays that explore, challenge and re-imagine ideas of ‘home’. These plays are essentially works in progress and first readings with an audience. Kali Theatre champions work from a South Asian female perspective and this season showcases the work of talented artists who have worked with the company, as well as new voices it is introducing – and also has different directors with varying degrees of experience attached to each production too. An opportunity to witness talent all-round.
Established playwrights Naylah Ahmed, Alia Bano, Sonali Bhattacharyya, Satinder Chohan along with emerging writers, Sarah Isaac and Maeve Scullion –from the Kali Discovery’ programme, present stories covering a range of themes from terrorism, belonging, environment, colonialism, love, grief and home. All shows are 7pm – unless stated. Home plays are:

‘When the Fire’s Gone Out’ by Naylah Ahmed directed by Helena Bell examines the impact of terrorism abroad and its legacy at home through the tale of two mothers who have lost their children to violence.
Tuesday, October 12
In ‘Stateless’ by Alia Bano, directed by Tessa Walker, the writer asks what is a citizen, how do we determine who belongs and who doesn’t, and who has a right to call the UK home?
Wedneday, October 13
Empire of the Mind’ by Satinder Chohan, directed by Poonam Brah conjures a 20th century colonial island past and its fallout in a 21st century psychotic British present.
Thursday, October 14
‘King Troll’ by Sonali Bhattacharyya, directed by Milli Bhatia is a dystopian tale about the corrosive effect of the all too real Hostile Environment against migrants on two sisters.
Friday, October 15
‘The Sweet Flood’ by Maeve Scullion, directed by Helena Bell – desperate for a distraction from global warming and the destruction of our planet, environmentalist Riya maps out new territory with her lover Avanti.
Saturday, October 16 4.30pm
‘The Day I Found The Atman’ by Sarah Isaac, directed by Janet Steel is about fathers and sons looks at love, grief, secrets, and modern-day masculinity.

Kali Discovery October 12-16
Tara Theatre, 356 Garratt Lane, Earlsfield, London SW18 4ES
Box office: 020 8333 4457
More info/tickets:
All the plays are suitable for 14+ except ‘The Sweet Flood’ which is recommended for 16+


See NW Trilogy before curtain comes down…

Susheela Parekh (Rina Fatania) in NW Trilogy

IT IS the last chance to see ‘NWTrilogy’ at the Kiln Theatre, Kilburn. These are three short plays by Moira Buffini, Roy Williams and Suhayla El-Bushra and explore immigrant stories in the Brent (NW) area
Dance Floor’ by Buffini is about a young Irish girl who leaves home to work in ‘County Kilburn’; ‘Life of Riley’ by Williams is about a young woman trying to connect with her estranged father, who was once a reggae musician but can’t let go of the past. ‘Waking Walking’, by El-Bushra, is about Anjali, a wife, mother and newly arrived migrant escaping from Idi Amin’s Uganda, who joins Grunwick factory for a job just as the dispute unfolds.
All the plays are part of one evening and are performed one after the other and are presented as part of the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture, Brent 2020

The NW Trilogy – Dance Floor, Life of Riley and Walking Walking (September 23) to Saturday, October 9
The Kiln Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road, London, UK, NW6 7JR
Tel: 020 7328 1000
More info/tickets:

And finally…

Go see The Normal Heart at the National

WRITER Ash Kotak, the executive director of Aids Memory UK, recommends ‘The Normal Heart’, a revival of Larry Kramer’s autobiographical play written in 1985 about love, anger, Aids, activism and bromance.

The Normal Heart – November 6 (Olivier Theatre)

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture