It’s the summer of 2005, and Ismail – ‘Smiley’ to his friends – is about to become the youngest-ever player in his elite public school’s First XI cricket team. He sets his sights on immortality – breaking the school batting record and getting his name into Wisden.
But at the start of the season, new coach Mr. Eagles takes a particular dislike to him, threatening to derail Ismail’s historic moment. Worse still, no one seems to get what he’s going through. Set during England’s famous Ashes victory and the events of 7/7, Ismail discovers that cricket might not be able to take care of everything as it once did.
Originally developed through the Hampstead Theatre’s INSPIRE programme, and first presented as part of the Footprints Festival at Jermyn Street Theatre.
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Content warnings: racial slurs, swearing, bullying, police violence, Islamophobia. The show makes reference to the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London, and features a scene set in a holding cell at a police station.