London's Tricycle to Reprise Great Game: Afghanistan, Plus New Blessing Play, Ahead of U.S. Tour

News   London's Tricycle to Reprise Great Game: Afghanistan, Plus New Blessing Play, Ahead of U.S. Tour
London's Tricycle Theatre will reprise The Great Game: Afghanistan, a season of 12 plays, films, an exhibition and discussion sessions — exploring Afghan culture and history — that was originally premiered there last year. Following its London return, it will embark on a U.S. tour to Washington, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and New York.

The return season will see the addition of the world premiere of a new play by Lee Blessing, alongside the plays premiered last year by writers Stephen Jeffreys, Ron Hutchinson, Amit Gupta, Joy Wilkinson, David Edgar, David Greig, Colin Teevan, Ben Ockrent, Abi Morgan, Richard Bean and Simon Stephens. These plays will be accompanied by three monologues by Iranian writer and documentary maker Siba Shakib and verbatim pieces by the Guardian’s security editor, Richard Norton Taylor, to reflect the present situation in Afghanistan, taken from interviews with American and British Generals, Afghan politicians, U.S. and British politicians and contributors to the Obama review on the Afpak policy.  

The cycle is directed by Tricycle artistic director Nicolas Kent and theatre director Indhu Rubasingham, assisted by Rachel Grunwald. Designs are by Pamela Howard and Miriam Nabarro, lighting is by James Farncombe, with sound by Tom Lishman.  Full casting for all plays will be announced shortly. In a press statement, Kent commented, "The original intention in mounting The Great Game was to inform audiences of the history of Western involvement in Afghanistan since the early 19th century until the present day. The recent Obama Afpak policy review, the continuing ISAF operations in Helmand and in Afghanistan generally, and the mounting military and civilian casualty figures emphasise the importance of this. We very much hope that this trilogy and the theatre can play its part in continuing to stimulate the public's discussion and debate on what is currently the most important focus of UK and American foreign policy."

All plays will be presented in repertoire throughout the festival. The plays are performed in three cycles. Part One, subtitled Invasions and Independence, 1842-1930, comprises Stephen Jeffreys' Bugles at the Gate of Jalalabad, Ron Hutchinson's Durand's Line, Amit Gupta's Campaign and Joy Wilkinson's Now is the Time.  Part Two, subtitled Communism, the Mujahideen and The Taliban, 1979-1996, comprises David Edgar's Black Tulips, Lee Blessing's Wood for the Fire, David Greig's Miniskirts of Kabul and Colin Teevan's The Lion of Kabul. Part Three, subtitled Enduring Freedom, 1996-2010, comprises Ben Ockrent's Honey, Abi Morgan's The Night is Darkest Before the Dawn, Richard Bean's On the Side of the Angels and Simon Stephens' Canopy of Stars.

To book tickets for the London run, contact the box office on 020 7328 1000, or visit

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