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Waleed Akhtar’s Debut Play ‘Kabul Goes Pop; Music Television Afghanistan’ Opens in Our Region


Brixton House, in a co-production with HighTide, in association with the Mercury Theatre Colchester, announced the full cast for Waleed Akhtar’s debut play Kabul Goes Pop; Music Television Afghanistan which opens on 18th May with previews from 11th May.

The production will then tour to Harlow Playhouse (8 June), Mercury Theatre Colchester (15-18 June) and New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich (20 June).

Anna Himali Howard directs this two-hander and the leading roles will be taken on by Arian Nik playing Farook and  Shala Nyx in the role of Samia.

‘Kabul Goes Pop; Music television Afghanistan’ is inspired by a true story of Afghanistan’s first youth music TV programme and explores the devastating effects as two young presenters take on the political landscape while trying to build a new Afghanistan. Set post the US invasion, this new play is interwoven with a soundtrack of the early 00’s pop era from Britney Spears to Sharika.

Formerly known as Ovalhouse in Kennington, Brixton House is a state-of-the-art venue committed to social cohesion, creative excellence and providing a nurturing and enjoyable environment for audiences and performers alike. Continuing their long legacy of ground-breaking theatre and a home for artists, Brixton House, will be a place for people to come together and experience different art forms, events and participation projects. The venue houses two studio theatres with reconfigurable performance spaces, several rehearsal rooms and multi-use meeting rooms, as well as its very own care and bar for the public to enjoy. Brixton House will define theatre-making for a new generation, inspiring new experiences that develop community solidarity and passion for social change.

Waleed Aktar is a writer and actor who was an MGC Futures bursary winner 2021. Theatre credits include the upcoming The P Word (Bush Theatre – Sept/Oct 2022); Sholay on the Big Screen (Off Stage Theatre, Bush & Nubian Life); I Don’t Know What To Do (co-creator – Vault Festival).  Other work includes: Famalam (Season 4 contributor); Sketchtopia and Newsjack (BBC Radio 4 – Contributor); Lost Paradise (Short film B3 Media/UK Film Council).  As an actor his credits include Cruella, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and The Great.

Anna Himali Howard directs. Her credits include Curios (Soho Theatre), I Stand For What I Stand On (upcoming, Strike A Light), Inside (Orange Tree Theatre), I Wanna Be Yours (Paines Plough/Bush Theatre), Yours Sincerely (Birmingham REP), A Small Place (Gate Theatre), Albatross (Paines Plough/Gate Theatre). Anna was Associate Director on Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Drywrite/Soho Theatre international tour), Staff Director on Small Island (National Theatre) and Assistant Director on Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe.

Arian Nik plays Farook. Credits include The Village (Stratford East), The Ugly One (Park Theatre), Pufferfish (The Vaults), The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca (Hull Truck)and Beyond These Walls (Northern Broadsides. For television his credits include The Bay, BRUCE, Van Der Valk, Ackley Bridge, Still So Awkward and Killing Eve. For film his credits include Allelujah!, The Bower, Artemis Fowl and Dating Amber.

Shala Nyx plays Samia. Her most recent work as a creative/actor/writer/activist The Peoples Tribunal: Afghanistan Sessions co-created with Bezna Theatre and Sxsterhood: an act of resistance both for the Camden People’s Theatre. Further credits include, A Thousand Splendid Suns, (National Tour), Cookies (The Theatre Royal Haymarket), Listen Local (Kiln Theatre), The Gravity (Bristol Old Vic), Road (Circomedia), The Shadow Factory (The Nuffield Theatre), Every You and Every Me (Oxford Playhouse). For television her credits include: The Old Guard, Eastenders, Henry VI, Bottom Knocker Street, Knock Down Ginger, Gifts, I Have Covid, Toxic, Der Grosse Bluff, Candle to Water and Unlike.


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