Stage and screen star Jane Horrocks will return to London theatre in a revival of East Is East to be staged at the Trafalgar Studio 1 from 4 October.
Ayub Khan Din’s modern classic about growing up in 1970s multiracial England will be the second play of Jamie Lloyd’s second Trafalgar Transformed season, following Richard III starring The Hobbit’s Martin Freeman.
Horrocks will play the English wife of George ‘Genghis’ Khan, who will be played by Khan Din, in the play that premiered at the Royal Court 17 years ago. It tells the story of a Pakistani chip-shop owner determined to give his children a Muslim upbringing in 1970s Salford. His determination leads to household tensions leaving his wife Ella caught between her husband and her children’s free will.
Absolutely Fabulous star Horrocks last appeared on the London stage as Annie Oakley in the Young Vic production of Annie Get Your Gun in 2009, following Aunt Dan And Lemon at the Royal Court earlier that year, The Good Soul Of Szechuan at the Young Vic in 2008 and Absurd Person Singular in the West End the year before. She may still be best known for her breakthrough performance in the title role of The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice both on stage and screen.
Speaking about the production Lloyd, the Artistic Director of Trafalgar Transformed, said: “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.”
Jane Horrocks – Ella Khan
Ayub Khan Din – George Khan
Amit Shah – Abdul Khan
Ashley Kumar – Tariq Khan
Darren Kuppan – Maneer Khan
Nathan Clarke – Saleem Khan
Taj Atwal – Meenah Khan
Michael Karim – Sajit Khan
Sally Bankes – Auntie Annie
Rani Moorthy – Mrs Shah
Hassani Shapi – Mr Shah/Doctor
Pamela Bennett – Ensemble
Deepal Parmar – Ensemble
Ash Rizi – Ensemble
Karl Seth – Ensemble
Director – Sam Yates
Designer – Tom Scott
Lighting – Richard Howell
Sound & Music – Alex Baronowski
There is no escaping the fact that the key roles are miscast and the play itself is rather lacklustre now, and only occasionally humorous.
Stephen Collins, BritishTheatre.com
Click here to read our East is East review in full.