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Synergy Theatre presents The Special Relationship at Soho Theatre

The Special Relationship

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

ESTHER Baker will direct Hassan Abdulrazzak’s timely new play, The Special Relationship, at Soho Theatre. A dark and biting satire which exposes the complex and heart-breaking stories behind the deportations of ex-prisoners from the US, it runs from February 26 to March 21, 2020.

In America, foreign nationals can be deported after serving prison sentences. Some of them are British.

A grain of cocaine, a digit on a breathalyser, a forged cheque, a DEA sting or murder one?

Caught in the transatlantic tango between Trump and May and proudly presented by a gun-toting Immigration officer, these are verbatim stories of double punishment and separation.

Gripping accounts of justice and separation are brought to vivid dramatic life in a fast-paced and theatrically daring production using savage comedy, surreal metaphor and verbatim testimony from those who ended up on the wrong side of the criminal justice system.

Developed from interviews with ex-prisoners and experts in immigration and criminal law, the award-winning playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak carves a rich dramatic narrative and uncovers vital questions around identity and place as he gets behind the political rhetoric of those caught up in the quagmire of immigration detention and deportation.

The cast includes Miranda Foster (The Man, Dance Nation), Ricky Fearon (Othello, Nine Night) and Duncan Wiseby (Dead Ringers, London Road) with further casting to be announced.

Hassan Abdulrazzak’s plays include Baghdad Wedding, The Prophet, Love, Bombs and Apples and And Here I Am. He has adapted Baghdad Wedding into a feature film for Focus Features and is writing a feature film for New Century. Abdulrazzak has received the George Devine, Meyer-Whitworth and Pearson theatre awards as well as the Arab British Centre Award for Culture.

Esther Baker is the Artistic Director of Synergy Theatre Project. Established in 2000, the company creates ground-breaking work across theatre and the justice system. Their work includes new plays which are specially commissioned to humanise the stories of those we work with – prisoners, ex-prisoners and young people at risk of offending and to provide new insights into the criminal justice system.

The Special Relationship is designed by Katy McPhee, with lighting design by Tony Simpson and sound design by Sarah Weltman.

The Special Relationship was researched in collaboration with Prisoners Abroad, a UK charity supporting British citizens imprisoned overseas and returning to the UK.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 020 7478 01200 or visit sohotheatre.com/.