Creative Commentary: Press & Digital Manager Fiona Moore on Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual

Mon 14 Sep 2020

Our Press & Digital Manager Fiona Moore writes about sharing the real life Leicester story of Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual with audiences.

Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual was a gift of a show: Leicester leapt off the pages of Dougal Irvine’s brilliant script, the story was gritty and thought-provoking, moving swiftly from 80s fashion and football to violence and religion, and the two actors were fizzing with energy, ready to make their professional debuts on Curve’s stage.

As soon as I’d read the script I knew we needed to get out onto the streets of Leicester, to show audiences the very real story we were about to tell in our theatre. Chetna, our Senior Comms Officer and I planned a full documentary filming day, touring the key locations of reformed football hooligan Riaz Khan’s life story with Riaz himself, our Writer Dougal Irvine, Director Nikolai Foster and actors Jay Varsani and Hareet Deol, as well as a team from video company Image Nova.

During the day we visited the Clock Tower, the site of many brawls, heard about Riaz’s experiences of racism growing up in the city, saw his old haunts on Narborough Road and took a trip to the site of Leicester City’s old Filbert Street ground – Riaz transporting us right back to the 80s with stories of his teenage years along the way.

The short documentary we created took our Made at Curve drama right into our city, fusing the real life history we were set to tell on stage with the reality of present day Leicester. The show went on to earn the success it absolutely deserved – glowing reviews, a nomination for Best Regional Production at the WhatsOnStage Awards and winning the Asian Media Award for Best Stage Production.

All our team members played a vital role in this production but special mentions have to go to Chetna, our photographer Ellie Kurttz and our fantastic national press representative Julie Holman.

Image: The team filming on location at Filbert Street.

Watch the documentary here: