The Great Game

The Great Game: Afghanistan

The aim of this festival is to explore Afghan culture and history. Afghanistan is likely to be the most important focus of British, European and American foreign policy for the rest of this decade, and for many years to come.  Through these plays, exhibitions and films it is hoped that audiences will more fully understand how this policy has evolved; and through debate and discussion lessons from the past can be used to better inform action for the future.

“The Great Game” was a term used for the strategic rivalry and conflict between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia. The classic Great Game period is generally regarded as running approximately from the Russo-Persian Treaty of 1813 to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. Following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 a second less intensive phase followed. The Term “The Great Game” was introduced into mainstream consciousness by British novelist Rudyard Kipling in his novel ‘Kim’ (1901).

Download a PDF of the calendar of events by clicking here.

Download a PDF of the festival brochure here.

To view the trailer, click here.

Click on the following links to see video coverage of The Great Game: Afghanistan:

BBC Newsnight Review  (24 April)

Theatre as an Extension of Journalism – by Richard Norton-Taylor for The Guardian

The Great Game on Stage – by Mike Wooldridge for BBC World


New plays in three parts…

The Great Game Part 1

PART 1 1842-1930 Invasions & Independence

The Great Game Part 2PART 2 1979-1996 Communism, The Mujahideen & The Taliban
The Great Game Part 3PART 3 1996-2009 Enduring Freedom


Film Festival

A Film Festival of features, documentaries and archive films.  See the Cinema Listings for full details.



Exhibitions of Afghan Ceramics, Contemporary Photography and also work by Afghan artists now based in Britain.

See the Gallery Listings for full details


Special Events

Concerts, Talks, Discussions and readings.  Please see Special Events listings for full details.

In association with:


4 Responses for “The Great Game: Afghanistan”

  1. Caroline Jaine Says:

    We are very excited by your Afghan Festival! We run Afghan Insight training – see for more and our home page for more about our NFP organisation. I will today, link to your site on our home page and book some tickets!
    Best wishes

  2. waseem khan yousafzai Says:

    i think it is a great event depicting a country who has been at the cross road of history ,and whose people have suffered alot at the power game and intersts of the big powers and afghanistan has been the play ground for powers who played thier strategic games here destabilizing a great country.this festival will help understand the history,traditions,culture of afghans and the hardships they have suffered.

  3. Jo R Says:

    Absolutely wonderful evening — thank you so much for putting on such a wonderful show. I have been watching some of the films you’ve put on which were fabulous but the play really is top rate. It is so important for the public to engage with what is happening in Afghanistan and by using the theatre you make it all the more easy to engage with. wonderful wonderful, superb acting all round and brilliant plays.
    Thank you – and congratulations – I will be back soon…

  4. Dr S Muhammad Says:

    Its a good idea to introduce the true face of history of the region and depict the true scale of human suffering in these conflicts imposed by foreign forces. Unfortunetaly, there is alot of bias and misconceptions about Afghanistan and the political events happening there; so I wonder how much reality will be shown on these modern screens and how much of the true cries of human suffering will be just blown under the red carpets! It might be an entertaining moment for many, yet it should be a conscience shaking and awakening moment for those who have it!

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