The Great Game

1842-1930 Invasions & Independence

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 Stephen Jeffreys

In January 1842 a contingent of British soldiers, 16000 strong, retreated from Kabul. Only a few stragglers were left alive in the British Army’s worst defeat in history.  The General’s wife, Lady Sale, documents the battles in the Hindu Kush; whilst four buglers sound the advance at the gates of Jalalabad as a signal to any survivors



by Ron Hutchinson

Amir Abdul Rahman has kept the Indian Foreign Secretary, Sir Mortimer Durand, cooped up in Kabul for weeks. Sir Mortimer is desperate to negotiate the division of Waziristan to avenge the humiliation of his father’s name. Rahman fights to protect his country’s borders from Imperialist map-making.


by Amit Gupta

Harry Hawk MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary needs to find a new approach to policy in Afghanistan. Hawk summons the expert, Professor Khan to advise on the potential success of the ‘supplementary plan’ conceived by the civil service.While
Hawk hopes that history can repeat itself, Khan is not convinced that it will.



by Joy Wilkinson


King Amanullah, his wife Soraya and his father-in-law, Tarzi are fleeing the capital. Their car is marooned in the snow, while Pashtun tribes and Tajik forces march towards Kabul.Will the Soviet Union help? Will the British interfere?


8 Responses for “The Great Game

  1. Greg Says:

    Just to say all the best to the team for The Great Game, have secured my ticket already for all three parts and am looking forward to it with great relish.

    A wonderful line-up of playwrights, well done to the people who planned this!

  2. Jim Culleton Says:

    What a great initiative – so ambitious and yet I’m sure it will be realised wonderfully, given the amazing work the Tricycle has created through its verbatim theatre projects. Best of luck with it.

  3. M.Zahim Sadiqi Says:

    I jast wated to thank the Tricycle for holding this event about my country, so that atleast people know about the Afghanistan’s past and the great history.I’ll definitly come to Tricycle to see the show.

  4. waseem khan yousafzai Says:

    the history of afghanistan is so diverse and rich ,afghans have always earned thier independence and thier r respected for thier freedom loving nature.afghans r the people who had never been subdued by any other the festival the history is depicted in really a best way i really appreciate the organizers

  5. Sucheta Says:

    Having just seen Part I, I wish to thank the Tricycle for putting on a fantastic production with excellent writing and acting. The story/plot lines were very interesting – I hadn’t realised to what extent British policy has affected both the history and politics of Afghanistan. Am now looking forward to Parts II and III with great relish.

  6. Dr.Asil Hadah wall Says:

    I heard and saw about the festival THE GREAT GAME. it is a great inititive of the organizers to introduce the history of Afghanistan to the world.
    i will difinately come to the theater to watch the games and will see how the actors performes and demonstrate the facts

  7. Monique Law Says:

    Fantastic1 what a great day’s theatre.

  8. J. Van Wagner Says:

    Saw I and II today and going back for the evening III. Extremely sensitively and realistically done, sticking close to actual facts. Bravo. Coming from the Middle East myself I’m all too familiar with the machinaions of the West in that area — the chickens are coming home to roost now.

Leave a Comment


Support Our Capital Project

Fri 17 Apr 2009 - Sun 14 Jun 2009
Single part  £13
Trilogy        £32

Trilogy        £36

Running time for Part 1 is 2hrs 5mins (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