The Great Game

1979-1996 Communism, The Mujahideen & The Taliban

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 David Edgar

Christmas 1987. A super-power invaded Afghanistan eight years ago. Its troops were sent to combat backwardness and banditry, to defend women’s rights, to build hospitals and schools, but it didn’t work out quite like that. Now another group of Russian conscripts gets its final briefing before going in.



by J T Rogers

Two Afghans have risked their lives crossing the Pakistan/Afghanistan border to meet with two Americans in a safehouse. The aim is to negotiate arms, but the Americans’ offer of Enfield rifles, radio equipment and medical supplies is considered by the Afghans insufficient to repel the Russians.



by David Greig

The Taliban are closing in on Kabul: shells and rockets are exploding around the capital. A woman is interviewing
President Najibullah, who has sought refuge in the UN compound. He talks about fashion, communism, torture and whisky, but time is running out…



by Colin Teevan

Two Afghan aid workers disappear while distributing rice. Rabia, their UN Director of Operations, is determined to
discover what has happened to them. The problem is her organisation does not recognise the Taliban, and the Taliban does not recognise her. She seeks justice, but who is to dispense it?



3 Responses for “The Great Game

  1. Sucheta Says:

    Superb acting from all the cast but especially from Ramon Tikaram, Vincent Ebrahim and Jemima Rooper. Excellent writing all round but my favourite in this Part was David Greig’s Miniskirts of Kabul. A must-see for anyone wanting to see a unrivalled production in 2009 so far.

  2. Jo R Says:

    Najibullah and the two leads in Blood and Gifts – FANTASTIC. All 4 plays fantastic, whole night well worth going to (even if you live south of the river!) Miniskirts was brilliant, inspired and B&G extremely gripping too.

  3. The Great Game « Knickers, Loos, Crisps, and Queen Elizabeths Says:

    […] Great Game      Yesterday, we went to the Tricycle Theatre to see the second part of the Great Game.  The Great Game is a play about Afghan culture and history in three plays.  The first play is […]

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Support Our Capital Project

Sat 18 Apr 2009 - Sun 14 Jun 2009
Single part   £13
Trilogy         £32

Trilogy       £36

Running time for Part 2 is 2hrs 35mins (approx) including a 20min interval Subject to change

Directors: Nicolas Kent, Indhu Rubasingham
Assistant: Rachel Grunwald
Designers: Pamela Howard, Miriam Nabarro
Lighting: James Farncombe
Sound: Tom Lishman
Literary Advisor: Jack Bradley
Produced by: Nicolas Kent assisted by Zoe Ingenhaag
Cast: Sagar Arya, Daniel Betts, Sheena Bhattessa, Paul Bhattacharjee, Lolita Chakrabarti,
Michael Cochrane, Vincent Ebrahim, Nabil Elouahabi, Tom McKay, Danny Rahim,
Jemma Redgrave, Jemima Rooper, Hugh Skinner, Ramon Tikaram, Rick Warden