Leicester’s Curve has announced its critically acclaimed Made at Curve production of Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette will return with a spring 2024 tour as part of the Theatre Nation Partnerships initiative.
Set in London during the Thatcher years, My Beautiful Laundrette tells the story of a young British Pakistani, Omar, who transforms his uncle’s run-down laundrette into a thriving business. After being confronted by a racist gang, Omar develops a relationship with school-friend Johnny, a fascist skinhead. Against a backdrop of racial division, nationalism, rising inflation, recession and political turmoil, love blossoms between the two boys, as they set to work renovating the South London laundrette.
My Beautiful Laundrette is based on Kureishi’s ground-breaking 1985 Oscar-nominated film of the same name and the production features original music composed by the Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe. Originally staged at Curve in 2019 under the direction of Nikolai Foster, the play garnered four-star reviews from publications including The Observer, The Sunday Express and The Daily Mail, with The Guardian opining “an iconic movie, sharply reimagined.” In addition, the production received nominations for Best New Play and Best Regional Production at the 2020 WhatsOnStage Awards.
The tour will be supported by the National Theatre, as part of the Theatre Nation Partnerships initiative – a collaborative network of arts organisations, united in their shared aim to strengthen relationships with local audiences, schools and communities. Opening at Curve from 17 – 24 February 2024, the play will visit partnership venues throughout the spring, including Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch (28 February – 9 March 2024) and The Lowry, Salford (19 – 23 March 2024), with further dates to be announced.
Nicole Behan will direct the upcoming tour. Nicole is Co-Artistic Director of Paperwork Theatre in Liverpool, and her recent directing credits include Deep Blue (Liverpool Everyman), Twisted (Digital Touring) and Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons (Liverpool Everyman). The full cast and creative team for My Beautiful Laundrette will be announced in due course.
Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said: “We are thrilled to be presenting Hanif Kureshi’s astonishing adaptation of his Oscar-nominated film My Beautiful Laundrette. After the success of our 2019 production, we are thrilled to be revisiting the play as part of the National Theatres’ Nation Partnership programme, which promotes great plays and new audiences at theatres across the country. Hanif surfs a multitude of strikingly relevant issues in his 1985 masterpiece – from the journey of the immigrant, sexuality, English working-class society, women’s roles in society and the results of Thatcher’s policies, which we all still feel the effects of today. Kureishi does all of this with bucketloads of wit, compassion and his trademark uncompromising sense of mischief.”
Kate Varah, Executive Director of the National Theatre said: “Theatre Nation Partnerships is our national network with local impacts, bringing people together and offering opportunities for work to be shared and celebrated. We’re delighted that audiences from Barnstaple to Wakefield will get to enjoy this wonderful revival of My Beautiful Launderette. This production will begin with a week of research and development at the NT Studio via our Generate programme, which aims to develop work that’s destined for stages outside the capital. We’re delighted to be working with Curve at the helm to share this story with audiences across the country.”
Theatre Nation Partnerships has been supported by a £1.25 million award by Arts Council England, made possible thanks to National Lottery players.
Tickets for the tour of My Beautiful Laundrette will go on sale to Curve Friends Wednesday 20 September, to Curve supporters Thursday 21 September, to Curve Members, Groups and Access Register customers Friday 22 September and on general sale Tuesday 26 September, all at 12 noon. To find out more and book, visit www.curveonline.co.uk.