About East Is East
Multi-award winning Jane Horrocks (Sunshine on Leith, Little Voice, Life is Sweet, Absolutely Fabulous) stars alongside writer Ayub Khan Din (My Beautiful Laundrette, East is East) in Season Two of Trafalgar Transformed at the Trafalgar Studios.
East is East is a hilarious modern classic about growing up in multiracial England. Pakistani chip-shop owner George Khan (Ayub Khan Din) is determined to give his children a strict Muslim upbringing against the unforgiving backdrop of 1970s Salford. Household tension reaches breaking point as their long-suffering English mother, Ella (Jane Horrocks), gets caught in the cross fire – her loyalties divided between her marriage and the free will of her children.
★★★★ ‘Thrillingly vital. A play with guts, wit and a big, beating heart ’The Times
★★★★ ‘Brilliantly alive in its verbal comedy. A great night out’ The Independent
★★★★ ‘Great humour and real theatrical exuberance’ The Guardian
★★★★ 'Jane Horrocks back to the stage in a terrific, gutsy-yet-sensitive portrayal’ The Independent
★★★★ 'Sally Bankes’s high-energy performance lights up the stage, is a comic gem’ The Telegraph
★★★★‘A hugely enjoyable revival’ The Guardian
East is East was first performed the Royal Court Theatre in 1997, was nominated for a 1998 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best New Comedy. The play draws very much from Kahn-Din's own childhood in Salford, where he grew up in a large family with a British Pakistani father and a white British mother. In interviews, he has stated that the young boy Sajid Khan is a self-portrait, and that Sajid's parents are very exact portraits of his own parents.
In 1999, the film version of East is East was released, starring Om Puri and Linda Bassett as the mother. It won both a British Independent Film Award and a London Critics' Circle Film Award for his screenplay, as well as being nominated for two BAFTAs.
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