Sam Yates’s highly-praised staging of Ayub Khan Din’s East is East visits the Theatre Royal Bath from Monday 14th September to Saturday 19th September starring Pauline McLynn (Father Ted, Shameless, EastEnders) as Ella Khan and Simon Nagra (Doctors, National Theatre) as George Khan.
“Fierce, funny and affecting. It feels thrillingly vital.
A play with guts, wit and a big, beating heart” – The Times
Pakistani chip shop owner George Khan – “Genghis” to his kids – is determined to give his children a strict Muslim upbringing in 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 her children.
“Great humour and real theatrical exuberance” – The Guardian
A semi-autobiographical account of British Asian life and the clash of cultures between a multi-cultural family growing up in the 1970s, East is East is a play that continues to resonate and provoke discussion. Following the international success of the 1999 film, Ayub Khan Din’s modern comedy classic about family life visits Bath as part of a new UK tour after making a welcome return to the stage in 2014 appearing in the West End as part of Jamie Lloyd’s second Trafalgar Transformed season.
Pauline McLynn stars as Ella Khan. Winner of a British Comedy Award for her role as Mrs Doyle in Father Ted, Pauline is also well-known on television for playing Libby Croker in Shameless, Yvonne Cotton in EastEnders, Tippi Haddem in Jam and Jersualem and appearing in Bremner, Bird and Fortune. Her many stage credits include performing at the Donmar Warehouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, Dublin’s Gate Theatre and the Abbey Theatre/National Theatre of Ireland.
Simon Nagra stars as George Khan. His numerous stage roles include, at the National Theatre, The Revenger’s Tragedy, Dara and Rafta Rafta. On television, Simon played Ash Palmer in BBC’s Doctors and has appeared in No Offence, Holby City, Dalziel and Pascoe, Green Wing, Casualty, The Last Detective, EastEnders and The Bill.
Returning members of the West End cast – all reprising their original roles – include Ashley Kumar as Tariq Khan, Darren Kuppan as Maneer Khan and Sally Bankes as Auntie Annie (last seen at the Theatre Royal Bath as Christine in Acorn Antiques in 2007). They perform alongside Adam Karim as Sajit Khan, Assad Zaman as Saleem Khan, Dharmesh Patel as Abdul Khan, and Salma Hoque as Meenah Khan. The cast is completed by Kammy Darweish as Mr Shah and Sakuntala Ramanee as Mrs Shah (last seen at the Theatre Royal Bath as Nanine in Camille in 2003).
Director Sam Yates has been described as “a major talent” (The Guardian). Earlier this year, he directed Outside Mullingar starring James Hayes, Deirdre O’Kane, Carol Macready and Owen McDonnell at Bath’s Ustinov Studio. His recent work also includes Billy Liar, The El Train, and J.B. Priestley’s Cornelius, which was nominated for four Off-West End Awards and transferred to New York in 2013, receiving Critics’ Pick in the New York Times.
East is East was writer Ayub Khan Din’s first play, following an initial career as an actor. It was staged at the Royal Court in 1997 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, and a European Film Award for Best Screenwriter. As an actor, Ayub was last seen on stage in the West End run of East is East at Trafalgar Studios as part of the Trafalgar Transformed season, playing for the first time, the role of George. He made his film debut in My Beautiful Laundrette, and is well known for the role of Sammy in Hanif Kureishi’s Sammy and Rosie Get Laid – both directed by Stephen Frears. His television credits include Coronation Street, The Chief, Dangerfield, Boon, The Bill and Poirot. His many writing credits also include Rafta Rafta, which won an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and ran at the National Theatre.
Photos by Marc Brenner
East is East appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Monday 14th September to Saturday 19th September. Tickets are available from the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk