Covering nearly 200 years of Afghanistan's history, The Great Game is described by artistic director Nicolas Kent (who co-directs the season with Indhu Rubasingham) as “the most comprehensive over-view of Afghanistan’s history, culture and politics ever attempted in Britain”.
Playwrights including Richard Bean, David Edgar, Abi Morgan, David Greig and Simon Stephens have contributed half-hour plays to the season, which is divided into three sections covering the years 1842 through to the present day (See News, 20 Feb 2009).
The acting ensemble comprises Sagar Arya, Daniel Betts, Paul Bhattacharjee, Lolita Chakrabarti, Michael Cochrane, Vincent Ebrahim, Nabil Elouahabi, Tom McKay, Danny Rahim, Jemma Redgrave, Jemima Rooper, Hugh Skinner, Ramon Tikaram and Rick Warden. It continues at the Tricycle to 14 June, with full cycles on Saturday and Sunday and individual sections on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Among the critics it was difficult to find a dissenter, as most plumped for a four star rating and agreed that, in the words of Whatsonstage.com's Michael Coveney, the cycle has already taken its place as “one of the major highlights of the year”. Among the 12 plays, the Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer could spot “only a couple of duds”, while the “fantastic” multi-tasking acting company seemingly contained none. All told, a very Great Game indeed.
- by Theo Bosanquet & Rhian Owen