The cycle, which originally ran for three months, from April to June 2009, will present the world premiere of a new play by Lee Blessing, alongside the plays premiered last season by writers Stephen Jeffreys, Ron Hutchinson, Amit Gupta, Joy Wilkinson, David Edgar, David Greig, Colin Teevan, Ben Ockrent, Abi Morgan, Richard Bean and Simon Stephens.
The short plays, which are divided into three sections covering 175 years of the country's history, will be accompanied by three monologues by Iranian writer and documentary maker Siba Shakib and verbatim pieces by Richard Norton Taylor, the Guardian’s security editor. Taylor will present extracts from interviews with American and British Generals, Afghan politicians, US and British politicians and contributors to the recent Obama review on the Afpak policy.
Directed by the Tricycle’s artistic director Nicolas Kent and Indhu Rubasingham, assisted by Rachel Grunwald, The Great Game: Afghanistan was, along with the Not Black and White season, nominated for Theatre Event of the Year at this year's Whatsonstage.com Awards.
Announcing the return of the season, Nicolas Kent said: "The original intention in mounting The Great Game was to inform audiences of the history of Western involvement in Afghanistan since the early 19th century until the present day. The recent Obama Afpak policy review, the continuing ISAF operations in Helmand and in Afghanistan generally, and the mounting military and civilian casualty figures emphasise the importance of this.
"We very much hope that this trilogy and the theatre can play its part in continuing to stimulate the public's discussion and debate on what is currently the most important focus of UK and American foreign policy."
The Great Game is designed by Pamela Howard and Miriam Nabarro, with lighting by James Farncombe and sound by Tom Lishman. Full casting will be announced shortly.