Cast revealed for Stratford’s Buddha of Suburbia

Published: 7 March 2024
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Funny and tender in equal measure”: The Buddha of Suburbia

Wise Children has announced the cast for the world première of Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia which will run in the Swan Theatre, Stratford.

Adapted by the company’s artistic director Emma Rice with Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia will be a co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey’s inaugural season as co-artistic directors.

The cast comprises Dee Ahluwalia, Ankur Bahl, Raj Bajaj, Tommy Belshaw, Rina Fatania, Natasha Jayetileke, Bettrys Jones, Simon Rivers, Lucy Thackeray and Ewan Wardrop.

Rice said, “I'm honoured and excited to be part of Tamara and Daniel's inaugural season. It’s magic to be returning to the Swan stage—and in such a thrilling way. Expect party poppers, lawn mowers, bean bags and balloons.

“Hanif Kureishi’s debut novel The Buddha of Suburbia is a messy, joyful and angry love letter to family, theatre and music. Funny and tender in equal measure, this landmark story fizzes with rebellion, confusion, love and acceptance.

“I couldn’t be more delighted to be working with my hero Hanif Kureishi on transforming his literary masterpiece into a joyful theatrical whoop. As the dawn of a new era shines upon the Swan stage, Buddha promises to be dashing, dirty, devastating and hopeful—just as theatre should be.”

Kureishi added, “I’m absolutely thrilled that Emma Rice is adapting my novel for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Emma has a uniquely theatrical imagination which, in combination with my own theatre background and the novel’s partial setting in the theatre, will result in a vibrant and provocative production.”

The creative team includes set designer Rachana Jadhav, costume designer Vicki Mortimer, sound and video designer Simon Baker, lighting designer Jai Morjaria, composer Niraj Chag, choreographer Etta Murfitt, fight director Kev McCurdy and casting director Matthew Dewsbury CDG.

The Buddha of Suburbia will run in the Swan from Thursday 18 April until Saturday 1 June.

    Related listings

  • The Buddha of Suburbia - Based on the novel by Hanif Kureishi, adapted for the stage by Emma Rice with Hanif Kureishi (Royal Shakespeare Company with Wise Children)

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