English Touring Theatre

The Funeral Director

14, 15 & 16 March 2019 at 7.45pm

Neville Studio - £13/ £11 concession


I just thought it would be a secret I’d have to die with. And now – I think it’ll be what kills me. Life as the director of a Muslim funeral parlour isn’t always easy, but Ayesha has things pretty sorted. She and Zeyd share everything: a marriage, a business, a future.

Until Tom walks in to organise his boyfriend’s funeral. A snap moral decision, informed by the values of Ayesha’s community and faith, has profound consequences. Forced to confront a secret she has hidden even from herself, Ayesha must decide who she is – no matter the cost.

The Funeral Director is an incisive and heartfelt story of sexuality, gender and religion in 21st century Britain. The Funeral Director won Papatango’s 10th annual New Writing Prize from a recordbreaking 1384 entries.

Please be aware that while there is no graphic imagery, violence, nudity or strong language in the play, there is one scene in which a baby is prepared for burial. If you have any concerns about watching this scene, please contact a member of staff who can advise on how this sensitive matter is presented.

What the press say

★★★★ “Makes a humane point without lapsing into preachiness… Examines Islamic attitudes to same-sex relationships with grace and dignity.” The Guardian

“Sensitive and nuanced.” The Stage

“The play certainly unfolds in fine dramatic style, and highlights not only an area of profound tension and negotiation in our society, but also some of the ways in which those tensions might eventually be resolved.” The Scotsman

“There’s a stellar production here. It has the writing, the concept and ideology behind it to treat subjects surrounding death, same-sex relations and religion well.” The Reviews Hub

★★★★ “This unflinching text is a charged, thought-provoking piece with relevance beyond its geographic and cultural setting.” The Skinny

★★★★ “A fascinating conundrum lies at the heart of The Funeral Director… There are some nice performances here and a genuinely moving conclusion… A play that will have you discussing its central premise for hours after you’ve left the theatre.” Bouquets & Brickbats

★★★★ “The Funeral Director is a powerful, thought-provoking 90 minutes of theatre, which shows great promise from all involved.” The Wee Review

★★★★ “A very good play… The applause was loud and long.” ScotsGay Arts

★★★★★ “A triumphant piece of theatre… Mesmerising.” Ravi Ghosh, Spy in the Stalls

★★★★★ “Pitch perfect.” Shaun Dicks, Rewrite This Story

★★★★ “Papatango have dug up a real gem from a very promising writer.” Alex Benjamin, London Box Office

★★★★ “A writer to watch, Qureshi has written a brilliant piece.” Niall Hunt, Theatre Full Stop

★★★★ “Tough, tender… Extremely moving.” Asian Culture Vulture

★★★★ “Bravely explores the intersection of religious freedom, culture and LGBTQI rights… Despite the weight of its themes, there is plenty of sharp, dark comedy to enjoy.” Afridiziak

Dates & Times

The Funeral Director - Thu 14 Mar 7:45pm Thu 14 Mar Neville Studio 7:45pm £13/ £11 concession
The Funeral Director - Fri 15 Mar 7:45pm Fri 15 Mar Neville Studio 7:45pm £13/ £11 concession
The Funeral Director - Sat 16 Mar 7:45pm Sat 16 Mar Neville Studio 7:45pm £13/ £11 concession

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