A topical black comedy, The People Next Door satirises a post-9/11 Britain in a state of panic, gripped by fear of terrorism and anti-Muslim paranoia. On a council housing estate in a multi-cultural city, community life is disrupted by an unexpected visitor... Why is crooked cop Phil claiming that gormless Nigel is a suicide bomber? Is poker-carrying Scottish widow Mrs Mac sleeping with Nigel's only friend, black teenager Marco? Will dope-smoking hip-hop head Nigel's charmed life with his Xbox and TV ever be restored?
Original cast members Jimmy Akingbola and Fraser Ayres reprise their roles alongside newcomers Paul Albertson and Colette O'Neil in the production directed by Roxana Silbert (whose 2002 festival hit Iron by Rona Munro, transferred to the Royal Court earlier this year), literary director of Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, where The People Next Door premiered last month during the Fringe festival.
Other Edinburgh hits to hit London this month include the Presnyakov Brothers' Playing the Victim at the Royal Court Upstairs, Ross Noble's Unrealtime at the West End's Garrick Theatre, Theatre O's The Argument at the Barbican and Heather Raffo's Nine Parts of Desire at the Bush, while post-festival arrivals later in the year will include Gregory Burke's The Straits at Hampstead Theatre and Out of Joint's production of Stella Feehily's Duck, again at the Royal Court Upstairs.
- by Terri Paddock