Redbeard Theatre presents

Afghanistan is Not Funny

By Henry Naylor

Direction by Darren Lee Cole & Martha Lott

Featuring the photography of Sam Maynard

A close-shave with a landmine, menaced by a warlord and abducted by the Mujahideen: this is the extraordinary, true story of a British comedian and photographer in war-torn Afghanistan.

In 2002, whilst researching a comedy, triple Fringe First winner Henry Naylor and two-time Scottish Feature Photographer of the Year Sam Maynard went to the Afghan Warzone….

…it was a trip which changed both their lives and their art. 

Performed by Naylor himself, in front of Maynard’s pictures, this docu-play takes us back to the start of a modern tragedy. 

Amusing and moving, Afghanistan Is Not Funny is one of the leading award-winners on this year’s international fringe circuit… and has won top prizes at the Edinburgh, Hollywood and Adelaide fringes. 

The show has wowed both critics and audiences alike and has already received an extraordinary 29 five- and four-star professional reviews.

And now the show comes to the Arcola after a successful run at the legendary off-Broadway venue, the Soho Playhouse, New York. 


‘a truly astonishing performance by an utterly brilliant writer’,

NoHo Arts, L.A.


‘It is both personal and political, both intimate and epic. It is full of colourful characters, and it explores essential issues with intelligence and integrity. It is funny, too, in a frank and self-effacing fashion.’The Stage


WINNER: Best International Act, Hollywood Fringe 2022
WINNER: Platinum Medal, Tvolution Hollywood Fringe 2022
WINNER: Best International Show, TVO Awards, Hollywood Fringe 2022 
WINNER: Best of the Broadwater, Hollywood Fringe 2022
WINNER: Adelaide Critics Circle Weekly Award, Adelaide Fringe 2022
WINNER: Best Theatre Weekly Award, Adelaide Fringe 2022
WINNER: Soho Playhouse Medal for Dramatic Excellence, Edinburgh Fringe 2022
NOMINEE: Best of ALL Fests, Fringe Encore Series, Hollywood Fringe 2022 


Content Warnings: Strong language and discussions of distressing topics such as war.

★★★★★ “‘Jaw-dropping’”One4Review

★★★★ “‘Eye-opening’”Three Weeks

★★★★ “"Intimate and epic"”The Stage

★★★★★ “‘Extraordinary’ ”British Theatre Guide

★★★★ “‘A story-teller extraordinaire’”Daily Mail

★★★★ “‘Will move you to tears.’”The Wee Review

★★★★★ “'Absolutely f*cking brilliant'”Theatre Extra

★★★★★ “'Captivating...'”Stage Whispers

★★★★★ “‘Simply Riveting! ”Global Media Post

★★★★★ “ ‘Outstanding theatre’ ”Barefoot Review

★★★★★ “Naylor takes us where other playwrights fear to tread.’”InDaily