Reads – Kabul Goes Pop: Music Television Afghanistan

Show Information
Showing on:
Wed 31 March 2021
1 hour 30 minutes approx
Mercury Online
Age Guidance:

‘Kabul Goes Pop: Music Television Afghanistan’ is inspired by a true story of Afghanistan’s first youth music TV programme. It’s ‘Disco Pigs’ meets ‘Wayne’s World’ with a dash of ‘The Kite Runner’, as post the war two young friends take on the force of a repressive society in the hope of building a new Afghanistan, with devastating personal and political consequences, all to a soundtrack of the best early 00s pop!

Trigger warning: contains references of violence and torture.

‘Reads’ is part of a monthly programme of online readings of new plays written by East based writers.

Spaces are free but limited and must be booked in advance.

Waleed Akhtar Headshot

Waleed Akhtar

Writer & Farook

Waleed Akhtar is an actor, writer, director and maker with roots in Essex.

His most recent piece as a writer/performer Sholay on the Big Screen was part of a lockdown project for the elderly supported by the Bush. He co-created I Don’t Know What To Do at the Vault Festival 2020 (Evening Standard Pick of the Fest) about race and climate change. His short film Lost Paradise was produced by B3 Media/The UK Film Council, he has written sketch material for Radio 4’s Sketchtopia and Newsjack, and is the founding member of Bollyprov – An improvised Bollywood comedy.

Waleed’s screen credits include Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (Kudos), Cruella (Disney), The Great (Hulu), Three Girls (BBC), Tyrant (FOX), Holby City (BBC), and Casualty (BBC). While stage credits include, A Thousand Splendid Suns (Birmingham REP), Fracked (Chichester Festival Theatre), Flight (Bridge theatre), Kite Runner (Nottingham Playhouse), What Shadows (Park Theatre), Velocity (Finborough). Audio work includes What the Papers say, My Son the Doctor, Tommies, In Here (BBC Radio 4), the voice of the Planet Omar series of audiobooks and The Black Album for Audible. He is also a member of the Actors for Human Rights Network and a seasoned comedy improviser.

Shala Nyx Headshot

Shala Nyx


Shala Nyx is an actor, producer and artistic activist.

Recent theatre credits include Sam in The Gravity at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre, Rayah in Cookies at Theatre Royal Haymarket, and Aziza in A Thousand Splendid Suns – a national tour. Shala is a part of BÉZNĂ, a Romanian theatre collective developing protest theatre, challenging societal inequalities and confronting institutional and normalised violence worldwide. For film and TV she plays Gita in the Netflix premiere The Old Guard, produced by Charlize Theron, Munira in Home, directed by Isobel Clarke, and Alanagh in BBC One’s EastEnders, directed by Conor Morrisey. Shala plays Karlach for the colossal video game franchise Warhammer and is in the early stages of producing her first short film, in association with the BFI. Shala trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Anna Himali Howard Headshot

Anna Himali Howard


Anna Himali Howard is a director and theatremaker. Her work as a Director includes Inside (Orange Tree Theatre, upcoming), I Stand for What I Stand on (Strike A Light, upcoming), I Wanna be Yours by Zia Ahmed (Paines Plough/Bush Theatre), A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid (Gate Theatre), Albatross by Isley Lynn for NEW (RWCMD/Paines Plough/Gate Theatre).

As a theatremaker work includes Jane Anger (Yard Theatre Live Drafts), Mahabharat/a by Anna Himali Howard and Zarina Muhammad (Camden People’s Theatre), The Beanfield by Breach Theatre (New Diorama, National tour 2016).

Anna was Associate Director on Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Drywrite/Soho Theatre international tour). She was Paines Plough’s Trainee Director in 2016 and is an alumnus of the Birmingham REP Foundry. She was recently a Staff Director at the National Theatre, London.

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