Photographs of East is East by Ayub Khan Din (Royal Court Theatre production, 1997)


Ayub Khan Din’s 1996 play East is East was co-produced by Tamasha Theatre Company, the Royal Court and Birmingham Rep, and directed by Kristine Landon-Smith. After its premiere in Birmingham in October 1996, the production toured to Sheffield, Salford, Bristol and London, including the Theatre Royal Stratford East. These photographs are from the play’s run at the Royal Court Downstairs in March–April 1997.

The photographs show:

  • George (Nadim Sawalha), the overbearing head of the Khan family, with his wife Ella (Linda Bassett).
  • Ella (Linda Bassett, left) and Auntie Annie (Gillian Hanna, right) enjoy a cup of tea and a chat while Ella’s son Sajit (Imran Ali) sits nearby, wearing his famous parka coat. 
  • Mum, Ella (Linda Bassett), tries to keep the peace in the Khan family.
  • Chris Bisson as Saleem, Zita Sattar as Meena and Jimi Mistry as Tariq. 

Full title:
Photographs of East is East by Ayub Khan Din (Royal Court Theatre production, 1997)
Photograph / Image
Marilyn Kingwill
© Marilyn Kingwill / ArenaPAL
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© Marilyn Kingwill / ArenaPAL

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ARP1351042; ARP1351039; ARP1351041; ARP1083609

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Sarfraz Manzoor
20th-century theatre, Exploring identity

The play East is East, first performed in 1996 and adapted as a film in 1999, explores the lives of a Pakistani immigrant, his British wife and their children in 1970s Salford. Sarfraz Manzoor considers how far attitudes towards Asian immigrants have changed since the 1970s, and recounts his own changing response to East is East over the past two decades.

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