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Leicester’s Curve has announced that Author Riaz Khan will join the cast on stage in its world-premiere Made at Curve drama Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual – an adaptation of Riaz’s book documenting his time as a football hooligan in 1980s Leicester.
Now reformed and working as a lecturer at De Montfort University, Riaz will perform in every show during the production’s run from 26 Sep to 6 Oct.
Directed by Curve’s Artistic Director Nikolai Foster and adapted for the stage by Curve Associate Artist Dougal Irvine, Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual will feature actors Jay Varsani (Riaz) and Hareet Deol (Suf), both making their professional debuts at the theatre.
Speaking about the production, Riaz said:
“I’m very pleased Curve have made my book into a play. It actually feels surreal to think that a period of my life is being acted out onstage. I’m really excited to be part of it and cannot wait for it to be performed in front of an audience.”
Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual tells Riaz’s colourful account of growing up in the multi-cultural city of Leicester. Riaz fights back against racial abuse and social injustices by becoming involved in the football ‘casual’ culture, and joins Leicester’s infamous ‘firm’ of football hooligans, the ‘Baby Squad’.
Decked out in the latest designer gear and ready for a brawl with the rival firm on match day, Riaz and his friends unwittingly create a multi-cultural gang advocating racial tolerance, where the only labels that matter are on the clothes. But as the years go by and the casualties of football firms around the country mount up, Riaz soon discovers the true price of belonging to a subculture of violence.
Set in the 1980s, this gritty new piece of writing explores the development of the hybrid youth culture of the time, which developed within a shocking culture of violence. The story is vividly brought to life with the characters of Riaz and Suf portraying the various colourful characters they interact with.
Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director, Nikolai Foster said:
“We’re honoured local legend Riaz Khan is joining our production of Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual. Dougal’s brilliant play is given an extra snapshot of reality with the appearance of Riaz.
“Jay and Hareet are two of the most exciting young actors we have had the pleasure of working with and it is thrilling to see them working alongside Riaz and bringing his story to life.”
The production is supported by De Montfort University as part of the strategic partnership between the two organisations.
Adapted for the stage by Curve Associate Artist, Dougal Irvine
Director – Curve’s Artistic Director, Nikolai Foster
Set and Costume Designer – Grace Smart
Composer and Sound Designer – Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Tasha Taylor Johnson
Lighting Designer – Charlotte Burton
Casting Director – Kay Magson CDG