Cast announced for Spun | Arcola Theatre

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Cast announced for Spun


Introducing the cast for the world premiere of Spun by Rabiah Hussain. The part of best friends Safa and Aisha will be played by Humaira Iqbal and Aasiya Shah.

Humaira Iqbal will play Safa. She trained at National Youth Theatre and Central School of Speech and Drama. Theatre work includes: Here Comes the Bride (National Theatre Studios); War and War (Complicite); Cheap Justice (Royal Court); Liminal and The Red Helicopter (both Arcola Theatre). Radio includes: Fighting for Psychiatry (BBC Radio 4). TV includes: Murdered by my Father (BBC3).

Aasiya Shah will play Aisha. She trained at West London College. Theatre work includes: Anita and Me (Birmingham Rep); Child of the Divide (Tamasha/Bhuchar Boulevard); Tipping the Velvet and The Interventionists (both Lyric Hammersmith). TV work: includes Call the Midwife (BBC), Unforgotten 2 (ITV) and The Level (ITV).


”Yeah, but where are you really from?”

Safa and Aisha have been best friends forever. They bunked off school, revised together and even ended up at the same university. But now they’re forging different paths for the first time: Safa to work in the City, and Aisha to teach in Newham.

When London is attacked one day in July, Safa and Aisha feel the whole world spinning underneath them. As extremes from all sides take hold of the capital, can their friendship survive the strain?

Spun is the exhilarating debut play from London writer Rabiah Hussain. Seen through the eyes of two British Pakistani Muslim girls from East London, this funny, thought-provoking and moving new play unravels the makings of a friendship, the identity of a global city and the challenge of keeping grounded through unstable times. From micro-aggressions to a night out on the town, Spun offers a new and fresh take on our capital city from an original and exciting new voice.

The play was originally submitted through PlayWROUGHT (the Arcola’s own new writing programme) before going through Arcola LAB (the theatre’s talent development programme for BAMER artists).

Rabiah Hussain said: “I am so excited and honoured to have a run of my debut play at Arcola Theatre. Under the direction of Richard, an extremely talented and diverse team have come together to bring Spun to life. Arcola have given a platform for me to tell a story that is close to my heart. This is an amazing thing for an emerging writer. Spun is a very anecdotal play, using examples of experiences from my own life and of those around me. It’s a story I’ve been trying to tell for a long time. I hope Spun shows the stories of those from this background in a different way. It’s in no way about extremes but instead, it’s about how extremes have a ripple effect on those of us simply trying to get by day-to-day. I hope Spun can add to the debate of how we tell stories that are truly representative of just how strong and complex women from my background are.”

Director Richard Speir added: “I’m delighted to be working with Rabiah to bring her first full-length play to life. Plays as original and exciting as Spun really do not come along often. Rabiah has created a real firecracker of a play with strong and complex characters struggling to accept that external events can infect their friendship. As a fresh new voice with plenty to say, Rabiah is truly deserving of this opportunity to showcase her immense talent.”


Spun plays at Arcola from 27 June until 28 July. Book your tickets here.

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