The Great Game

1996-2009 Enduring Freedom

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 Ben Ockrent

While civil war rages, a lone CIA agent realises the dangers of American disengagement. He’s found an ‘in’ to persuade Commander Massoud, the Lion of Panjshir, to help them get back into the game. But with the Taliban closing in on Kabul, will it be enough?



by Abi Morgan

The widowed Huma is trying to re-open her husband’s school following the American bombing and ‘liberation’ of Afghanistan; however she needs to persuade six more girls to attend. But Behrukh’s father is more concerned with his opium crop, and who will harvest it.



by Richard Bean

Jackie and Graham are working for Direct Action World Poverty east of Herat. They are thrown together to work on a new project about land rights. In trying to help and settle local disputes, the results are not what they expected, as Bollywood, women’s rights and tribal disputes create a toxic mix.



by Simon Stephens

In a bunker guarding the Kajaki Dam, two soldiers talk of chips and gravy, football, women and whether the British should start to negotiate with the Taliban insurgents. A searing insight into soldiers at war, and what happens when they go home.



3 Responses for “The Great Game

  1. Sucheta Says:

    This part focused on the cultural, moral and ethical dilemmas faced by the individual agencies, the West and local communities involved in trying to help those affected by the most cruel aspects of the implementation of the Taliban’s version of Islam. Whilst these were solemn subjects, they were treated with great sensitivity and injected with humour to lighten the otherwise serious issues.

  2. Dr Gill Aston Says:

    I saw all the three parts last Saturday. I was moved by all the plays and the experience and I want to congratulate all the actors for their brilliant performances. I haven’t stopped thinking about and talking about The Great Game this week. Thank you.

  3. The Great Game, Part 3: Enduring Freedom @ The Tricycle | Culturephile Says:

    […] examines the history of British and American involvement in Afghanistan from 1842 to the present. In“Part 3: Enduring Freedom,” which I saw on a recent venture into North London, four British playwrights present a series of […]

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Support Our Capital Project

Sun 19 Apr 2009 - Sun 14 Jun 2009

Single part   £13
Trilogy        £32

Trilogy        £36

Running time for Part 3 is 2hrs 30mins (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