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Preview: Combustion at Hexham Queen’s Hall

Tara Arts presents
By Asif Khan (BBC’s New Talent Hotlist 2017)
Hexham Queen’s Hall
Tuesday 4th July 2017

Combustion, Asif Khan’s debut play, is a fabulously comic satire on the combustion surrounding young British Muslim lives in the North today and it’s coming to the Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham on Tuesday 4th July.

‘A brave, important and necessary play’ The Telegraph

Combustion is set in Bradford in the month of Ramadan. Racists plan to march through the city, latching on to the latest grooming scandal. Shaz, a local garage mechanic, desperately tries to keep his business running smoothly so he can marry well. In this combustible atmosphere, his sister Samina is determined to make her voice heard.

Combustion was selected as one of 6 new plays for the Arcola Theatre's playWROUGHT#2 Festival 2014 and progressed through to the final stage of the BBC Writers Room Script Room 8 Scheme.

Combustion is a prescient exploration of a modern community of Muslim friends and family in Bradford. The narrative follows secrets and lies around grooming of young women in Bradford and the terrible consequences on the closely drawn community at a time of heightened racial tensions.

Combustion deals with contrasting themes - masculinity and feminism, peace and violence, racism and tradition – and offers a compelling insight into the challenges of being young, Muslim and British.

Writer, Asif Khan explains Going about my life in London, and particularly within the profession I work where there are very few Muslims, I have on some occasions felt a fear of it being known that I am a Muslim. A fear of being judged, a fear of being associated with the plethora of misconceptions about Islam, which exist today. A feeling that you have to prove something, that you’re peaceful, not extreme, ‘normal’, that you are as devastated as any by the attacks we’ve seen recently in Westminster and Europe.

As a British Muslim, I’ve found my voice under-represented. I believe this voice to be the voice of most British Muslims in this country who feel as though they’re tarred with the same brush as the ‘bad’ Muslims, shown frequently on our screens and in our newspapers. But also those battling against the challenges in our own communities, about how we should tackle the problems we are now faced with.

As an artist, drama is my tool to communicate. I hope Combustion will communicate how I and many others feel about being British and Muslim today.”

Combustion is at the Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham on Tuesday 4 July at 7.30pm. Tickets are £6.50 - £13.50 and are available from the Queen’s Hall Box Office 01434 652477 or online at
Suitable for ages 14+ as this performance contains strong language and adult themes throughout.
On The Web: Combustion at QHA

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