Mark’s mother wants him to bury his father and it’s up to Saleh to find him and bring him home for a proper East End send off. Only Mark is no longer Mark, he’s Abdullah.
Written by Martin Askew, There is A Field is a London story of faith, death and family strife reshaped by local crises and global events.
Directed by Esther Baker, the play pits working class males against each other, with religion complicating their competing needs.
Actors Sam Frenchum (Abdullah), Fabrizio Santino (Tony), Archie Backhouse (Saleh), Roseanna Frascona (Amina) Sarah Finigan, who plays East End matriarch Maureen, step out on to a set complete with minarets and high-rise flats.
An admirer of Mevlana Rumi, whose poem There is A Field gives the play its name, Askew offers an authentic insight into modern life shaped by contemporary religion. Commissioned by the Synergy Theatre Project, which specialises in ground-breaking work across theatre and the justice system, it allows Askew, a former gangster who turned his life around after converting to Islam, to draw on his personal experiences for his first full-length play.
The cockney Muslim and nephew of Lenny McLean grew up in Hoxton, saw his best friend stabbed to death, and ended up in jail for drug dealing.
Askew’s script for feature film Snow in Paradise (2014), which was partly filmed at the UK’s first Turkish mosque in Shacklewell Lane, Dalston, became a Cannes favourite. His thought-provoking There is A Field is likely to leave an indelible mark too – see it at Battersea’s Theatre 503. Run ends 16 March.
Title: There Is A Field
Dates: Wednesday 20 February 2019 to Saturday 16 March 2019
Times: 7.30pm daily (not Sundays or Mondays), with additional 3pm matinee performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and 12 noon on 6 March
Venue: Theatre 503, 503 Battersea Park Road, Battersea, London, SW11 3BW
Admission information: there is a parent and baby tailored performance at 12 noon on 6 March, Parent & Baby tickets are priced £18 | £17 | £12 Conc. | £10 Previews & Weds. Mats | ‘Pay What You Can’ Sat. Mats
Tickets and info: buy online from the Theatre 503 website