Lee Blessing
Lee Blessing
The Tricycle Theatre in London has announced its plans for The Great Game: Afghanistan, a festival that explores Afghan culture and history through twelve plays, a five day film program, and other complementary events to run July 23 - August 29.

After the Festival's engagement at the Tricycle, it will embark on a five-city American tour, (September 5 - December 19), with engagements at The Shakespeare Theatre Company at the Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, DC; The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis; Berkeley Repertory Theatre; The Freud Playhouse in Los Angeles; and The Public at The Skirball in New York.

At the center of the Festival will be the world premiere of Lee Blessing's Wood for the Fire, which investigates the alliance between the CIA, the ISI (Pakistan's Intelligence agency) and the Mujahideen, which was created to destabilize the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Blessing's play is part of the Communism, The Mujahideen & The Taliban 1979-1996 section of the Festival, which will also include pieces from David Edgar, David Greig, and Colin Teevan. The other two components of the Festival are Invasions & Independence 1842-1930, which will include plays by Stephen Jeffreys, Ron Hutchinson, Amit Gupta, and Joy Wilkinson; and Enduring Freedom 1996-2010, in which works by Ben Ockrent, Abi Morgan, Richard Bean and Simon Stephens will be featured.

These plays will be accompanied by three monologues by Iranian writer and documentary maker Siba Shakib and verbatim pieces by the Guardian's Security Editor, Richard Norton Taylor, taken from interviews with American and British Generals, Afghan politicians, US and British politicians and contributors to the Obama review on the Afpak policy.

All plays will be presented in repertory throughout the festival, which is directed by Nicolas Kent and Indhu Rubasingham, assisted by Rachel Grunwald. The creative team includes Pamela Howard and Miriam Nabarro (production design), James Farncombe (lighting design), and Tom Lishman (sound design). Full casting for all plays will be announced shortly.

For further information, visit: www.tricycle.co.uk.