Shakespeare in Kabul comes to Morden Library

Authors of the book Shakespeare in Kabul, Qais Akbar Omar and Stephen Landrigan, will be reading from their work and talking about what inspired them to write it, at Morden Library on Friday 25 May.

Starting at 4pm. the event organised by Merton Council in partnership with the British Council, is part of the World Shakespeare Festival 2012 and follows a performance at London’s Globe Theatre earlier this month by the actors who feature in the book.

Omar and Landrigan co-wrote Shakespeare in Kabul which tells the true tale of a group of actors in Afghanistan’s capital who performed Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. Their Afghan audiences and journalists from all over the world cheered as they saw men and women acting on stage together for the first time in years.

All those wishing to come along to the reading should contact Morden Library on 020 8545 4040 or email

Merton Council cabinet member for community and culture Councillor Nick Draper said: “This is a marvellous opportunity for Merton residents to hear about the experiences that drove these two authors to write this remarkable book of optimism in adversity.”

Author Qais Akbar Omar said: “2012 is an exciting year for us, to be part of the World Shakespeare Festival. Shakespeare has an appeal that crosses nations because he writes about issues and emotions that affect all of us. His play was the perfect backdrop to a book addressing the joys and tragedies that have been prevalent in Afghanistan over the decades.”


Notes to editors

Shakespeare in Kabul was written in 2005 by Qais Akbar Omar and Stephen Landrigan. Qais lives in Kabul. He is a journalist and was assistant director and interpreter to Paris actress Corinne Jaber, who had holidayed in Afghanistan and returned to direct the play. Stephen is from Boston and often returns to Kabul. He is a playwright and assembled a team of Afghan translators to write the script in Dari, the Persian court language.

Stephen Landrigan has appeared at both the Oxford Literary Festival and the Stratford Literary Festival.