Stage and screen star Jane Horrocks will return to London theatre in a revival of East Is East to be staged at the Trafalgar Studio 1 from 4 October.
Ayub Khan Din’s modern classic about growing up in 1970s multiracial England will be the second play of Jamie Lloyd’s second Trafalgar Transformed season, following Richard III starring The Hobbit’s Martin Freeman.
Horrocks will play the English wife of George ‘Genghis’ Khan, who will be played by Khan Din, in the play that premiered at the Royal Court 17 years ago. It tells the story of a Pakistani chip-shop owner determined to give his children a Muslim upbringing in 1970s Salford. His determination leads to household tensions leaving his wife Ella caught between her husband and her children’s free will.
Absolutely Fabulous star Horrocks last appeared on the London stage as Annie Oakley in the Young Vic production of Annie Get Your Gun in 2009, following Aunt Dan And Lemon at the Royal Court earlier that year, The Good Soul Of Szechuan at the Young Vic in 2008 and Absurd Person Singular in the West End the year before. She may still be best known for her breakthrough performance in the title role of The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice both on stage and screen.
Speaking about the production Lloyd, the Artistic Director of Trafalgar Transformed, said: “Both Richard III and East Is East are powerhouse plays that provoke discussion and debate – programming that reflects our location on Whitehall, just a few steps away from the centre of British politics. I am overjoyed to welcome the incredibly talented Jane Horrocks, who will star in Ayub Khan Din’s modern classic, and am excited that Ayub himself has agreed to play George. This will add even more weight and authenticity to this major revival of his semi-autobiographical play.”
In a new twist for the Trafalgar Transformed season, Lloyd will not direct East Is East. Instead emerging director Sam Yates, who recently directed Ruth Wilson in The El Train at Hoxton Hall, which was described by Lloyd as “dazzlingly impressive” will direct the production.
As with previous Trafalgar Transformed productions, East Is East will offer all seats for £15 on Mondays and will accompany the performances with extras including debate, post-show Q&As and rehearsed readings.