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Ambreen Razia presents POT, a new play about inner-city gang culture

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IN THE year that has seen knife crime in the UK soar to an unprecedented level, writer and actress Ambreen Razia, whose hugely successful Diary of a Hounslow Girl has been commissioned by BBC Three for a pilot, is presenting the corrupt and violent world of inner city gang culture in her new play POT.

Razia will once again be collaborating with director Sophie Moniram (Assistant Director on the critically acclaimed production of Yerma at the Young Vic), who is one of The Old Vic 12 class of 2018.

POT delves into the lives of Britain’s invisible children, adrift in the care system and inadvertently impacted by gang culture.

Sixteen-year-old Louisa wakes up in a flat on her estate with her erratic and unstable boyfriend Josh missing and a notorious drug dealer on her back. A young man, Miles, who is clearly concealing his own troubled past has been appointed her protector. Time is running out as Louisa must decide whether to do the right thing whilst a series of revelations suggest everything is not as it seems.

Ambreen Razia said: “POT is a raw tale set in inner-city London and it pulls no punches. It raises questions about why young people who leave care, form families on the streets. I want to capture these stories which go untold, the voices which echo from the underbelly of our cities; nobody should be exempt from seeing themselves reflected back at them.

“I believe that through theatre we can help tell stories which centre around young people who are unheard, mis-represented or exploited, enabling us to break down misconceptions and dismantle damaging stereotypes.

Razia’s other credits include On the Middle Day, Words and Women, Mind the Gap, No Guts, No Heart, No Glory, Random Acts, Murdered by my Father, Finding Fatimah, Ladies Day, Ilford Lane and Killed by my Debt. Read more about Ambreen Razia.

Casting for POT will be announced in due course.

POT has been commissioned by Ovalhouse, where it will run from October 9 to October 20 and supported by Stratford Circus Arts Centre, where it will run from September 26 to September 29, 2018.

POT will also tour to Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham (October 2), Brighton Dome at Dorothy Stringer School, Brighton (October 4), The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre, Taunton (October 5), Old Fire Station, Oxford (October 25) and Bernie Grant Arts Centre, London (October 26).

NB: POT has references to drugs and alcohol and is therefore suitable for ages 14+.

Running Time: 90 minutes, no interval.