Multi-award-winning Iraqi-born playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak returns to London’s Soho Theatre, where he had a breakthrough hit in 2007 with Baghdad Wedding, now returns with his timely new play The Special Relationship. Time to get booking!
The Special Relationship, telling true stories from the sharp edge of transatlantic deportation, runs at Soho Theatre from 26 February to 21 March 2020, with press nights on 3 and 4 March. It’s presented by Synergy Theatre Project, which specialises in working with prisoners and ex-prisoners.
A grain of cocaine, a digit on a breathalyser, a forged cheque or murder one?
In America, foreign nationals can be deported after serving prison sentences. Some of them are British. Caught in the transatlantic tango between Donald Trump and Theresa May and proudly presented by a gun-toting immigration officer, these are their true stories of double punishment and separation from their loved ones.
Hassan Abdulrazzak (Baghdad Wedding, Love Bombs and Apples, The Prophet) returns to Soho Theatre with this darkly comic, fast-paced and powerful play based on interviews with deportees and experts in immigration and criminal law.
Esther Baker leads Synergy Theatre Project’s groundbreaking work in theatre and the criminal justice system and is back to direct at Soho for the fourth time. The Special Relationship was researched in collaboration with Prisoners Abroad, a UK charity supporting British citizens imprisoned overseas and returning to the UK.
The cast includes Miranda Foster (The Man, Dance Nation), Ricky Fearon (Othello, Nine Night) and Duncan Wisbey (Dead Ringers, London Road) with further casting to be announced. The production is designed by Katy McPhee, with lighting by Tony Simpson and sound by Sarah Weltman.
Hassan Abdulrazzak’s plays include Baghdad Wedding (Soho Theatre, London 2007; BBC Radio 3, 2008; Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney 2009; Akvarious productions, Delhi & Mumbai 2010), The Prophet (Gate theatre, 2012), Love, Bombs and Apples (Arcola Theatre, 2016 and UK tour; Golden Thread, San Francisco, followed by a second UK tour) and And Here I Am (Arcola Theatre, 2017 and UK tour; Middle East and Africa tour, 2018).
His short plays include Trump in Palestine (part of the multi-author show Top Trumps at Theatre 503, 2017) and Lost Kingdom (Golden Thread Reorient 2015 festival, San Francisco). Hassan is commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has adapted Baghdad Wedding into a feature film for Focus Features and is writing a feature film for New Century. Hassan has received the George Devine, Meyer-Whitworth and Pearson theatre awards as well as the Arab British Centre Award for Culture.
Esther Baker is the Artistic Director of Synergy Theatre Project. Established in 2000, the company creates ground-breaking work across theatre and the justice system. Their work includes new plays which are specially commissioned to humanise the stories of those we work with – prisoners, ex-prisoners and young people at risk of offending and to provide new insights into the criminal justice system. Credits include most recently Martin Askew’s There is a Field (Theatre503), Davey Anderson’s Blackout (Ovalhouse), Evan Placey’s Girls Like That (Unicorn Theatre), Innua Ellum’s Cape and John Donelly’s Burning Bird (Unicorn Theatre), Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (Trafalgar Studios); Shelagh Stephenson’s The Long Road (Soho Theatre); Elmina’s Kitchen (HMP Brixton); On the Waterfront (Wimbledon Studio Theatre) and Burn and Someone to Watch Over Me (Southwark Playhouse).
— Synergy Theatre (@Synergy_Theatre) January 16, 2020
About Synergy Theatre
Established in 2000, Synergy Theatre Project works towards rehabilitation and resettlement with prisoners, ex-prisoners and young people at risk of offending through theatre and related activities whilst placing the wider issues surrounding criminal justice in the public arena.
The company’s work is founded on the belief that theatre can be transformative and challenges perceptions of both prisoners and society, building a more positive future. Synergy is committed to artistic excellence, believing it to be an integral part of achieving this purpose.
Synergy’s work impacts approximately 120 prisoners/ex-prisoners, 300 young people at risk of offending and audiences of 3,500 (including 2,500 young people) per year and comprises the following strands of activity: theatre productions, new writing and an education programme.
To date, the company has mounted 26 productions with prisoners and ex-prisoners, including 10 touring productions for young people, 30 projects for young people, 3 national prison scriptwriting competitions, 40 playwriting courses, 50 rehearsed readings, 2 radio projects and a short film. Over 1,100 prisoners/ex-prisoners and 1,800 young people have participated in projects reaching audiences of over 24,000.
The Special Relationship runs from 26 February to 21 March 2020 at Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1d 3NE, with performances Mondays to Saturdays at 7pm and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced £10-£18.50. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!