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RSC’s Tartuffe revived in Birmingham

Published: 25 January 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Asif Khan as Tahir Taufiq Arsuf (Tartuffe) Credit: Topher McGrillis

Iqbal Khan, who directed Tartuffe for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2018, will be at the helm of the play when it is revived by Birmingham REP for a Brummie audience.

Khan said, “I’m excited to be revisiting Tartuffe and bringing it home to the city in which it’s set following its successful run in the Swan Theatre at the RSC.

“I’m a Brummie and born into a Pakistani-Islamic family so the production has always felt like a very personal journey to undertake. I can’t wait to see it on stage at Birmingham REP.”

Set in a Pakistani-Muslim community, Tartuffe tells the story of charismatic chameleon and con man Tahir Taufiq Arsuf (Tartuffe), a religious leader for the 21st century armed with a Twitter handle and the gift of the gab.

Returning to play the title role is Asif Khan. He played Mo in Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s A Kind of People at the Royal Court Theatre Downstairs in December 2019 and Jack in Richard Bean’s The Hypocrite for the RSC in the Swan Theatre, Stratford in 2017.

The cast also includes Raj Bajaj (Damee Pervaiz) and Simon Nagra (Imran Pervaiz) who both return to the production after being part of the show when Tartuffe opened at the RSC.

New to the production are Anshula Bain (Mariam Pervaiz), Elizabeth Cadwallader (DCI Sarah Wells / Pippa), Natalia Campbell (Amira Pervaiz), Natalie Grady (Darina, the Pervaizes cleaner), Clive Hayward (Khalil), Qasim Mahmood (Waqaas), Sakuntala Ramanee (Dadimaa Pervaiz) and Lloyd Thomas (Usman). Musicians Joelle Barker and Pete Yelding also join the production.

Adapted by Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto, Tartuffe is designed by Bretta Gerecke with lighting design by Richard Howell. Music is composed by Sarah Sayeed with sound by Jeremy Dunn and movement by Shelley Maxwell.

Tartuffe runs at Birmingham REP from Friday 20 March until Saturday 4 April (press night Tuesday 24 March).