The Great Game PART 1

Fri 17 Apr 2009 – Sun 14 Jun 2009

1842-1930 Invasions & Independence

Parts 1, 2 & 3 can be seen separately and not necessarily in chronological order

For times of performances please see calendar of events


Click the publications to be taken to the reviews:

‘If anything drags, it’s the intervals. An inspirational highlight of the year so far.’ Independent

‘Mind blowing plays ride high. Something remarkable is happening at the Tricycle, where Afghan history and culture are being made manifest in a uniquely challenging, theatrically exciting way.The Guardian

‘Its scope is unparallelled. It’s a fine achievement.’ The Times

‘There is a deep thrill in hearing an audience fall silent, rapt in the drama….more impressive…the silence of an audience completely gripped by reality’ Financial Times

‘High on my list of the best theatrical experiences of 2009. The quality of the writing and the painstaking nature of the research are palpable throughout…Directed with precision and clarity by Nicolas Kent and Indhu Rubasingham and superbly acted by a company that includes Jemma Redgrave and the superb Paul Bhattacharjee, this is a challenging theatrical marathon of notable intelligence, insight, ambition and achievement.’The Daily Telegraph

‘For sheer scale and ambition alone it deserves the highest praise.’ Sunday Times

‘The cast of 15 is universally excellent. Sharp and entertaining and, as the best political theatre should, refuses to draw simplistic conclusions’ Sunday Telegraph

‘No former undertaking has boasted anything like the scope or ambition of The Great Game….immense. The terrific acting ensemble never flags, directors Nicolas Kent and Indhu Rubasingham continue to imbue each piece with fierce, coherent life’ The Evening Standard

‘A fascinating..diverse indictment…leaves you hankering for more.’ Time Out

‘The Great Game is the year’s most ambitious theatrical event’ Metro

‘Nicolas Kent’s most ambitous project is a triumph’ Jewish Chronicle

‘An utterly enthralling and informative experience with terrific new pieces..don’t miss.’ Michael Coveney, Whatsonstage



by Stephen Jeffreys

In January 1842 a contingent of British soldiers, 16000 strong, retreated from Kabul. Only a few stragglers were left alive in the British Army’s worst defeat in history.  The General’s wife, Lady Sale, documents the battles in the Hindu Kush; whilst four buglers sound the advance at the gates of Jalalabad as a signal to any survivors.

Cast includes Jemma Redgrave, Daniel Betts, Tom McKay, Rick Warden, Karl Davies and Nabil Elouahabi

Creatives include Indhu Rubasingham (Director), Miriam Nabarro (Designer), James Farncombe (Lighting Designer) and Tom Lishman (Sound Designer)


by Ron Hutchinson

Amir Abdul Rahman has kept the Indian Foreign Secretary, Sir Mortimer Durand, cooped up in Kabul for weeks. Sir Mortimer is desperate to negotiate the division of Waziristan to avenge the humiliation of his father’s name. Rahman fights to protect his country’s borders from Imperialist map-making.

Cast includes Michael Cochrane, Raad Rawi, Rick Warden and Danny Rahim

Creatives include Nicolas Kent (Director), Pamela Howard(Designer), James Farncombe (Lighting Designer) and Tom Lishman (Sound Designer)


by Amit Gupta

James Kite, ‘Special Adviser’ to the Foreign Secretary, needs to find a new approach to policy in Afghanistan. He summons the expert, Professor Khan, to advise on the potential success of a ‘supplementary plan’, conceived by the civil service but ignored by the previous administration. While Kite is certain that history can repeat itself, Khan is far from convinced that it will.

Cast includes Tom McKay, Raad Rawi, Karl Davies and Daniel Betts

Creatives include Nicolas Kent (Director), Pamela Howard(Designer), James Farncombe (Lighting Designer) and Tom Lishman (Sound Designer)


by Joy Wilkinson

King Amanullah, his wife Soraya and his father-in-law, Tarzi are fleeing the capital. Their car is marooned in the snow, while Pashtun tribes and Tajik forces march towards Kabul.Will the Soviet Union help? Will the British interfere?

Cast includes Daniel Rabin, Vincent Ebrahim, Shereen Martineau and Daniel Betts

Creatives include Nicolas Kent (Director), Pamela Howard(Designer), James Farncombe (Lighting Designer) and Tom Lishman (Sound Designer)