Britain is a divided nation, but one of the divisions that we don’t hear that much about is that between Pakistani gay men. Written by Waleed Akhtar (who also stars in this impressively heartfelt two-hander), The P Word is about the differences in life experiences between one asylum seeker and one Londoner, and comes to the Bush Theatre in a production which has been supported by Micro Rainbow, the first safe house in the UK for LGBTQ asylum seekers and refugees. So what’s it all about?
Here’s something you don’t get to experience too often: a gritty piece of contemporary writing that gives theatrical voice to people largely unrepresented on stage, and does so with compassion and comedy; a new play that is at once delicately intimate yet epic in scope, and a cracking piece of storytelling that manages to indict it’s audience without ever feeling preachy or worthy. Waleed Akhtar’s The P Word is a plea for tolerance, a study of the power of friendship, a sort-of love story and ultimately a potent political act that grips like a thriller.
The lava in the title of Benedict Lombe’s new, fierce, autobiographical play is anger. It flows over the stage, filling the crevasses of the set, and through Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo’s smouldering performance, which soon bursts into flame.
Benedict Lombe’s new play Lava is semi-autobiographical and full of activism and difficult moments, alongside a story railing against Kafkaesque bureaucracy.
The Gate Theatre’s artistic director Ellen McDougall has announced her second season at the Notting Hill venue with highlights including a new translation of Jean Cocteau’s The Human Voice by Daniel Raggett who also directs, and A Small Place, adapted from the book by Jamaica Kincaid and directed by Anna Himali Howard.