ETT AND PAPATANGO ANNOUNCE UK TOUR OF THE FUNERAL DIRECTOR
We are delighted to announce the UK tour of Iman Qureshi’s The Funeral Director, an exploration of a gay Muslim woman coming to terms with her identity. Winner of Papatango’s 10th annual New Writing Prize from 1,384 entries, the production directed by Hannah Hauer-King will embark on a UK tour to Traverse Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, The North Wall and HOME Manchester in Spring 2019.
This follows Papatango’s world première run at Southwark Playhouse opening on 2 November, with previews from 31 October, running until 24 November.
"I just thought it would be a secret I'd have to die with. And now – I think it’ll be what kills me."
Life as the director of a Muslim funeral parlour isn't always easy, but Ayesha has things pretty sorted. She and Zeyd share everything: a marriage, a business, a future.
Until Tom walks in to organise his boyfriend's funeral. A snap moral decision, informed by the values of Ayesha’s community and faith, has profound consequences.
Forced to confront a secret she has hidden even from herself, Ayesha must decide who she is – no matter the cost.
The Funeral Director is an incisive and heartfelt story of sexuality, gender and religion in 21st-century Britain.
Iman Qureshi is an exciting and distinctive new voice in theatre today and I am delighted that her beautiful play will be shared with audiences across the UK. This production will tour to studio theatres and continues our commitment to championing extraordinary new writing and examining contemporary English identity.
Richard Twyman, Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre
Papatango are thrilled to be able to bring Iman's important and utterly compelling play to audiences across the UK following our world premiere in London this autumn. The Funeral Director shines a light on communities and issues that seldom if ever reach our stages. That was why it won Papatango’s 10th New Writing Prize. As the UK's biggest playwriting award in terms of annual entries, with writers submitting from every region, it has long been our ambition to share the winning play as widely as possible. We are delighted that we realise this ambition with this exceptional story.
George Turvey, Artistic Director of Papatango
Iman Qureshi will make her full-length debut with The Funeral Director. She has had short plays or limited runs commissioned or produced by Tamasha, Kalí Theatre, Purple Moon Drama and the BBC. As a member of Tamasha Playwrights and Soho Theatre’s Writers Lab her short play His and Hers was produced as part of Tamasha’s New Muslim Voices. Iman has also written for the Guardian, Independent, Time Out and the Huffington Post, been writer in residence at various schools, and been shortlisted for the Muslim Writer’s Award in 2011. She was shortlisted for the Tony Craze Award in 2017.
Hannah Hauer-King directs. She is the Artistic Director and co-founder of all-female theatre company Damsel Productions. Hauer-King started her London directing career acting as Resident AD at Soho Theatre in 2014. She now works as a freelance theatre director alongside directing for Damsel Productions, and as a theatre, comedy and cabaret programmer for Fane Productions. Recent productions include Fabric (Soho Theatre), The Swell (Hightide Festival), Grotty and Breathe (Bunker Theatre), Fury and Brute (Soho Theatre), Clay (Pleasance Theatre), Dry Land (Jermyn Street Theatre), Witt 'n Camp (Assembly Studios, Edinburgh Fringe) and Hypernormal (Vaults Festival). Associate/Assistant work includes Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare's Globe), Radiant Vermin (Soho Theatre) and Daytona (Theatre Royal Haymarket).