The Great Game: Afghanistan returns to Tricycle 23 Jul

The Great Game: Afghanistan - a festival exploring Afghan culture and history through twelve plays, a five day film programme, a ceramic exhibition and discussion sessions returns to the Tricycle Theatre, in Kilburn, north London from 23 July to 29 Aug 2010. (It originally ran at the Tricycle April to June 2009)

All 12 plays will be presented in repertoire in 3 parts (4 plays per part) throughout the festival, directed by Nicolas Kent & Indhu Rubasingham.


BUGLES AT THE GATES OF JALALABAD by Stephen Jeffreys. In January 1842 a contingent of British soldiers, 16,000 strong, retreated from Kabul. Only a few stragglers were left alive in the British Army's worst defeat in history.

DURAND'S LINE by Ron Hutchinson. Amir Abdul Rahman has kept the Indian Foreign Secretary, Sir Mortimer Durand, cooped up in Kabul for weeks. Sir Mortimer is desperate to negotiate the division of Waziristan to avenge the humiliation of his father's name. Rahman fights to protect his country's borders from Imperialist map-making.

CAMPAIGN by Amit Gupta. Harry Hawk MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary needs to find a new approach to policy in Afghanistan.

NOW IS THE TIME by Joy Wilkinson. King Amanullah, his wife Soraya and his father-in-law, Tarzi are fleeing the capital. Their car is marooned in the snow, while Pashtun tribes and Tajik forces march towards Kabul. Will the Soviet Union help? Will the British interfere?


BLACK TULIPS by David Edgar. 1979, an army of a super-power invaded Afghanistan. Soviet troops were sent to combat backwardness and banditry, to defend women's rights, to build hospitals and schools. They thought they would all be home in a few months.

WOOD FOR THE FIRE by Lee Blessing. In order to de-stabilise the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan the CIA and ISI (Pakistan's Intelligence agency) formed an unholy alliance with the Mujahideen. American weaponry was supplied to support the Jihad, and the Russians were eventually forced to withdraw. Wood for the Fire explores one of many facets of this secret war.

MINISKIRTS OF KABUL by David Greig. The Taliban are closing in on Kabul: shells and rockets are exploding around the capital. A woman is interviewing President Najibullah, who has sought refuge in the UN compound. He talks about fashion, communism, torture and whisky, but time is running out.

THE LION OF KABUL by Colin Teevan. Two Afghan aid workers disappear while distributing rice. Rabia, their UN Director of Operations is determined to discover what has happened to them. The problem is her organisation does not recognise the Taliban, and the Taliban do not recognise her. She seeks justice, but who is to dispense it?


HONEY by Ben Ockrent. While civil war rages, a lone CIA agent realises the dangers of American disengagement.

THE NIGHT IS DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN by Abi Morgan. The widowed Huma is trying to re-open her husband's school following the American bombing and 'liberation' of Afghanistan; however she needs to persuade six more girls to attend. But Behrukh's father is more concerned with his opium crop and who will harvest it.

ON THE SIDE OF THE ANGELS by Richard Bean. Jackie and Graham are working for Direct Action World Poverty east of Herat. They are thrown together to work on a new project about land rights. In trying to help and settle local disputes, the results are not what they expected, as Bollywood, women’s rights and tribal disputes create a toxic mix.

CANOPY OF STARS by Simon Stephens. In a bunker guarding the Kajaki Dam, two soldiers talk of chips and gravy, football, women and whether the British should start to negotiate with the Taliban insurgents. A searing insight into soldiers at war, and what happens when they go home.

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