Mon 15 Feb 2016

Chris Stafford, Chief Executive and Nikolai Foster, Artistic Director of Curve, today announce the full cast for Wipers, written by Ishy Din. Curve Associate Director Suba Das directs Jassa Ahluwalia as Thomas,Waleed Akhtar as Ayub, Simon Rivers as Sadiq and Sartaj Garewal as A.D. Wipers, commissioned by Curve and co-produced with Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Watford Palace Theatre, is inspired by the real life story of Khuddadad Khan, the first South Asian soldier to be awarded a Victoria Cross for his extraordinary bravery at the First Battle of Ypres. Wipers opens on 14 April until 23 April, with previews from 8 April. This startling new piece of work honours the contribution of the million South Asian soldiers who fought alongside British soldiers during the First World War.

Wipers is set in October 1914 when the British forces, bolstered by huge numbers of volunteer soldiers from across the Empire, have suffered huge casualties at Ypres, in one of the first bloody battles of The Great War. As a sole survivor on the battlefield holds off the advancing enemy troops, a group of South Asian and British soldiers seek refuge in an abandoned barn. Over the course of a single night, this group of men must confront their fears and find a way to come together if they are to survive.

Chris Stafford, Chief Executive and Nikolai Foster, Artistic Director of Curve, said today, “We continue to celebrate diversity and share stories from many different perspectives in Ishy Din’s profoundly moving new play, Wipers. The play celebrates the extraordinary contribution of South Asian soldiers during the Great War and we are proud to present it during this centenary. Our director, Suba Das has assembled a tremendous company of actors and we are also delighted to welcome designer Isla Shaw back to Curve.”

Jassa Ahluwalia plays Thomas. His theatre credits include Skin a Cat (Vault Festival), Piranha Heights (The Old Red Lion), Peter Pan (Camberley Theatre), Treasure Island (The Derek Grant Organisation), and Aladdin (The Playhouse, Whitley Bay). His television credits include Peaky Blinders, Legends, Unforgotten, Some Girls, Ripper Street, The Whale, The Bible, and Some Girls. His film credits include Generation Z, Dragonheart: Druid’s Curse, Resistance, L2K, Assessment, My Angel and Journey to the Moon.

Waleed Akhtar plays Ayub. His theatre credits include Re: Home (The Yard), Back Down (Birmingham REP), Velocity (Finborough Theatre), The Kite Runner (Nottingham Playhouse), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Tooting Arts Club), Under 11’s (Soho Theatre), Love Match (Cheltenham Everyman). His television credits Include Edge Of Heaven and Dustbin Baby. His film creditsinclude The Chop, Night Bus, Miss You Already, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, Sidney, Sparks And Embers, Lipstikka, Diary Of A Jihadi, Scratch and Tonight.

Sartaj Garewal plays A.D. His theatre credits include Behind the Beautiful Forevers (National Theatre), Zindabad (Gate Theatre), Decade (Theatre 503), Vibrant Festival – Ahwi Tapu (Finborough Theatre), Tinderbox (Bush Theatre), Little India (Arts Theatre and national tour), Too Close To Home (Lyric Hammersmith and national tour) Romeo and Juliet (Royal Exchange), East Is East (New Vic Theatre, Stoke), The Taming of the Shrew (Arcola Theatre), London Continental (Arcola and London tour), The Tale of the Sleeping Mummy (Southwark Playhouse) and Theatre 503 Futures Festival. His television credits include House of Anubis, Dirty War and Keen Eddie. His film credits include Desi Boys, Tezz, Non-Resident, The Infidel, The Baseline, Talking Film, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Cats and Trees, Christie, Smokin’ Gun, Ladders, and Bagman.

Simon Rivers plays Sadiq. His theatre credits include The Charming Man (Theatre 503), Doctor Faustus (Stratford Circus/Present Moment Theatre Company), Where’s My Desi Soulmate? (Rifco Arts/Stratford Theatre Royal), Mela (West Yorkshire Playhouse), and The Algebra of Freedom (7:84 Theatre Company). His television credits include No Offence, Doctors (series regular) and Crash; and for film, ID2: Shadwell Academy.

Suba Das directs. Suba is Curve’s Associate Director. He curates Curve’s Inside Out Festival  which celebrates new work made in the region and has previously directed for the National Theatre Studio, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Tamasha and The Young Vic. Directing credits at Curve include Abigail’s Party by Mike Leigh, the European premiere of Shiv by Aditi Kapil, and productions with young people of Serious Money by Caryl Churchill and Mother Clap’s Molly House by Mark Ravenhill. He is currently developing a new British circus show with the Roundhouse and National Centre for Circus Arts and a world premiere opera for the Royal Opera House and London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ishy Din. Ishy has written plays for radio: John Barnes Saved My Life, Life’s Like That and Parking and Pakoras. For the theatre: Snookered was produced by Tamasha/Oldham Coliseum/The Bush and toured in 2012. He was the 2012 Pearson Writer in Residence at the Manchester Royal Exchange and in 2013 Snookered won ‘Best New Play’ at the Manchester Theatre Awards. In the same year, he wrote short film Perfume for Eclipse Theatre’s ’10 x 10′ online project and his half hour standalone comedy drama Doughnuts was broadcast on C4 as part of the ‘Coming Up’ season; also short film Our Lad was produced, directed by Rachna Suri, which was selected for multiple international festivals. In 2014 his monologue for Company TSU played in a double bill called Beats North at Edinburgh Fringe Fest and on tour and he took part in the Bush/Kudos new writing scheme.  For television: he is developing an original drama pilot under the BBC’s Original Drama scheme called Midnight Dreams; he is commissioned to write on The ABC for The Forge/C4;  he is developing an original legal drama with Endor Productions and a feature film with acclaimed director Gurinder Chadha, development funded by Creative England