Official: Jane Horrocks & Khan Din to Lead EAST IS EAST at Trafalgar Transformed, Begin. 4 October
Award-winning playwright Ayub Khan Din's first play, East is East, which premiered at the Royal Court and was later turned into a much-loved feature film, returns to the London stage after 17 years. This hilarious and ever-pertinent modern classic about growing up in multiracial England will star the multi award-winning stage and screen actress Jane Horrocks (Young Vic's Annie Get Your Gun,Sunshine on Leith, The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, Absolutely Fabulous) as Ella Khan, one of the greatest female roles written for modern theatre.
Khan Din himself steps into his semi-autobiographical take on British Asian life in the 1970s - a play that continues to resonate and provoke discussion - to play her husband, George "Genghis" Khan.
Directed by acclaimed young director Sam Yates, East is East follows Richard III in Jamie Lloyd's second season for Trafalgar Transformed and runs from 4 October 2014 to 3 January 2015, with press night on 15 October.
Pakistani chip-shop owner George Khan - "Genghis" to his kids - is determined to give his children a strict Muslim upbringing against the unforgiving backdrop of 1970s Salford. Household tension reaches breaking point as their long-suffering English mother, Ella, gets caught in the cross fire - her loyalties divided between her marriage and the free will of her children.
Jamie Lloyd, Artistic Director of Trafalgar Transformed, said, "Having announced Martin Freeman in Richard III, I am thrilled to reveal the next production of my second Trafalgar Transformed season, with more work to be announced at a later date. Both Richard III and East is East are powerhouse plays that provoke discussion and debate - programming that reflects our location on Whitehall, just a few steps away from the centre of British politics. I am overjoyed to welcome the incredibly talented Jane Horrocks, who will star in Ayub Khan Din's modern classic, and am excited that Ayub himself has agreed to play George. This will add even more weight and authenticity to this major revival of his semi-autobiographical play. In a drive to support emerging talent, I am pleased to introduce West End audiences to the work of Sam Yates, who will direct the production. Sam's recent work, including The El Train with Ruth Wilson, has been dazzlingly impressive and I can't wait to see what he creates with this unique piece."
Ayub Khan Din, Writer of East is East, said, "It's fantastic that East is East is having its first major London revival, as part of the exciting new season at Trafalgar Transformed. East is East will always remain a special piece for me because of its autobiographical nature and the fact that it continues to find relevance with each generation of young people that see it. I look forward to revisiting it with a new company, not just as the writer, but as an actor as well."
Richard III and East is East follow Jamie Lloyd's dynamic first Trafalgar Transformed season, which launched with Macbeth starring James McAvoy, followed by The Hothouse, starring John Simm and Simon Russell Beale and The Pride, starring Hayley Atwell and Mathew Horne.
Once again, the Trafalgar Transformed season will offer £15 Monday tickets for all productions, applicable on all seating, further encouraging first-time theatregoers to experience the exciting programming at the venue.
The production will be accompanied by a programme of Traf Extras, including fiery debates, post-show Q&As and rehearsed readings.
Jane Horrocks' stage credits include Annie Get Your Gun and The Good Soul of Szechuan, both at the Young Vic, Aunt Dan and Lemonat the Royal Court, Absurd Person Singular at the Garrick Theatre and Cabaret at the Donmar Warehouse. She is renowned on stage for The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, which Jim Cartwright wrote for her after hearing her impression of artists including Shirley Bassey and Judy Garland. The production ran at the National Theatre and the Aldwych Theatre, and earned her an Olivier nomination for Best Actress. It was then adapted into a film, Little Voice, and Jane's performance in the film resulted in nominations for a Golden Globe for Best Actress, BAFTA for Best Actress in a leading role, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a leading role and a BIFA for Best Actress. She also recorded a CD, Further Adventures of Little Voice, which included duets with Ewan McGregor, Robbie Williams and Dean Martin. On television Jane's credits include Trollied, The Cruise, This is Jinsy, Coming Up: A Kind of Magic,Gracie, Absolutely Fabulous, Linda Green, Jericho and Never Mind the Horrocks. Her film credits include Sunshine on Leith, Corpse Bride, Chicken Run, Little Voice, Life is Sweet, Memphis Belle, The Witches, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and The Dress Maker.
East is East, written in 1997, was Ayub Khan Din's first play, following an initial career as an actor. It was staged at the Royal Court and, subsequently, Ayub adapted the play into a hugely successful feature film, starring Om Puri and Linda Bassett. For his screenplay, Ayub won a British Independent Film Award and a London Critics' Circle Film Award, and was nominated for two BAFTAs for Best Adapted Screenplay and the Carl Foreman Award for Most Promising Newcomer, and a European Film Award for Best Screenwriter.Ayub was last seen on stage in May 2013, when he appeared in the tile role of Bunty Berman Presents, under the wing of The New Group at the Acorn Theatre, Off-Broadway. The musical was co-authored by Ayub and Grammy and Emmy Award winner Paul Bogaev. He made his film debut in My Beautiful Laundrette, but is perhaps best known for the role of Sammy in Hanif Kureishi's Sammy and Rosie Get Laid - both directed by Stephen Frears. His TV credits include Coronation Street, London Bridge, The Chief, Dangerfield, Boon, The Bill and Poirot. Additional writing credits include Last Dance at Dum Dum, Notes on Falling Leaves, All the Way Home, Rafta Rafta, which won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and ran at the National Theatre, West is West, All in Good Time, anadaptation of To Sir With Love, which recently completed a national tour, and Bunty Berman Presents.
Sam Yates most recently directed Ruth Wilson in The El Train at Hoxton Hall. His other directing credits include Cornelius by J.B. Priestley at the Finborough Theatre and 59E59 Theatre, New York, and Mixed Marriage at the Finborough Theatre. He was Artistic Associate at Royal and Derngate Theatres from 2011-2013. He trained with directors Jamie Lloyd, Michael Grandage, Trevor Nunn, Josie Rourke and Phyllida Lloyd. Sam will shortly direct Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester - his hometown.
Trafalgar Transformed Artistic Director, Jamie Lloyd, curates another season of powerhouse plays in the reconfigured Trafalgar Studios. This is the second season of work by Jamie Lloyd Productions, a partnership between acclaimed director Jamie Lloyd andAmbassador Theatre Group.