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“Could anyone in their right mind call this silly little island off of Europe their home?”
Curve, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham and Leeds Playhouse have today announced that they are joining forces to co-produce a new stage production of Hanif Kureishi’s screenplay My Beautiful Laundrette. The national press night will be held at Curve on 26 Sep at 7:15pm.
This bold new production of Hanif Kureishi‘s ground-breaking 1985 Oscar-nominated film of the same name will be directed by Curve’s Artistic Director Nikolai Foster (Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual and Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw, both at Curve). Presented against a funky backdrop of 80s music and culture, this drama will explore cultural conflict, gender equality, class and generational strife.
The production will open at Curve in Leicester 20 Sep – 5 Oct, before touring to Everyman Theatre Cheltenham (8 – 12 Oct), Leeds Playhouse (15 – 26 Oct), Belgrade Theatre Coventry (29 Oct – 2 Nov) and Birmingham Repertory Theatre (5 – 9 Nov).
Set in London during the Thatcher years, My Beautiful Laundrette tells the story of young British Pakistani, Omar, who transforms his Uncle’s run-down laundrette into a thriving business. After being confronted by a fascist gang, Omar recognises school-friend Johnny and uses their history to diffuse the situation. As they renovate the laundrette together, love blossoms between them. This culture clash comedy is also a subversive work of social realism, sprinkled with magic and joy running through the rich veins of Kureishi’s writing.
Speaking about the announcement, Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said
“We are thrilled to be presenting Hanif Kureshi’s astonishing adaptation of his Oscar-nominated film My Beautiful Laundrette.
“Hanif surfs a multitude of strikingly relevant issues in his 1985 masterpiece – from the journey of the immigrant, English working class society, women’s roles in the family and the results of Thatcher’s policies. Kureishi does all of this with bucketloads of wit, openness, compassion and a sense of mischief at the absurdity of it all.
“We are looking forward to working with Hanif and our partners at Leeds Playhouse, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Everyman Theatre Cheltenham very much.”
Hamish Glen, Artistic Director of Belgrade Theatre Coventry said:
“We’re really pleased to be continuing our ongoing partnership with Curve after the success of our previous co-productions Wipers and Pink Sari Revolution. My Beautiful Laundrette forms part of our ongoing efforts to reach and retain new audiences, and with the support of our co-producers, we hope to strengthen the relationships we have already begun to develop with the Midlands’ diverse communities, particularly as Coventry moves towards its year as UK City of Culture in 2021.”
Everyman Theatre Cheltenham Chief Executive Mark Goucher said:
“The 1985 film had a tremendous effect on me. It was radical, moving and very funny. The film launched the career of Daniel Day Lewis and made gay men of any race or class feel empowered and less frightened at a very difficult time. My theatre is delighted to be part of producing this exciting stage adaptation.”
Leeds Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining said:
“It’s really exciting to include the first major production of this contemporary classic as part of the first season in the newly refurbished Playhouse. The film broke new ground when it was released but its story still feels like a powerful and important statement about love, community and humanity. We are delighted to be co-producing with some excellent partners and sharing this incredible story with audiences throughout the UK.”
Further details and casting will be announced in due course.
Tickets will go on sale to Curve Friends and Supporters from 16 Apr, to Members from 17 Apr, to Groups 18 Apr and on general sale on 23 Apr, all at 12noon. Tickets can be purchased online at www.curveonline.co.uk, over the phone on 0116 242 3595 or in person at Curve’s Box Office.
Director – Nikolai Foster
Designer – Grace Smart
Lighting Designer – Ben Cracknell
Sound Designer – Tom Marshall
Casting Director – Kay Magson CDG