Burkas and Bacon Butties

Clashes, compromises and comedy in an east-meets-Wigan family drama.

Burkas and Bacon Butties is a heart-warming ‘east meets west’ comedy charting a father daughter relationship over the course of a year.

Ashraf is an Egyptian, a Muslim and a taxi driver and Shazia is his half Egyptian, half Wigan, twenty-something daughter.

Through multiple journeys in Ashraf’s taxi we explore the nuances of a mixed-culture family in contemporary Britain – the secrets kept and the stories told, and ask whether, despite the differences, family can win out regardless of the bacon butties…

Based on writer Shamia Chalabi’s real life experiences, Burkas and Bacon Butties depicts the clashes, compromises and ultimately the comedy that can result from being born into two different cultures.

This production will immerse you in the world of Ashraf’s taxi with music, fragrance trees and calls from the ex-wife – expect bold, touching comedy.

Burkas and Bacon Butties is generously supported by Arts Council England, The Peggy Ramsey Foundation, Shoreditch Town Hall, Prime Theatre and Arcola Theatre.

1hr 00m
The Vaults
14 — 18 Feb 18:00
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About the company

Shamia Chalabi and Sarah Henley

Shamia Chalabi and Sarah Henley met nine years ago, working on Sarah’s first play, a multi-role comedy set in a London Law Firm entitled Getting Out. Since then they have worked together as writer/actor (From Where I’m Standing – Delirium Theatre) and director/actor (Jam Sponge Comedy), but this is the first time they have written together. Shamia and Sarah have a keen appreciation for the funny side of life and they are both eternal optimists, qualities that definitely shine through in the writing of Burkas and Bacon Butties.

Sarah originally trained in law and then as a performer at the London School of Musical Theatre. She was Writer’s Assistant to Jeffrey Lane (Tony Award winner) on the West End production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Her play for Delirium Theatre, From Where I’m Standing received 5 star reviews and The Stage’s ‘Must See’ badge in Edinburgh. Writing credits include: Getting Out, Getting Away, After the Turn, Cinderella, From Where I’m Standing, Streets (Offie nomination for Best New Musical and Most Promising Playwright), Another Way (Offie nomination for Best New Musical), and Muted (Offie nomination for Best New Musical).

Shamia is a graduate of the Arts Ed Acting course. Her television highlights include ‘Law and order’ UK (ITV) and ‘Eastenders’ (BBC). Theatre credits include ‘Go to your God like a soldier’ (The Old Vic Tunnels/Underbelly) and ‘Khadija’s 18th’ (Hackney Empire). Shamia writes as a part of sketch group Jam Sponge Comedy who have had successful runs at the Leicester Square theatre and The Edinburgh fringe. Burkas and Bacon Butties is Shamia’s first play – it is semi-autobiographical and based on some of her personal experiences growing up. Being brought up in London and Wigan she was exposed to a clash of cultures which, alongside her own mix of Egyptian/English heritage, opened her eyes to the comedy that can be born out of the want to belong and the need keep everyone happy.

Tara Finney Productions is a multi-award nominated, independent theatre production company. Recent projects include: The Greatest Play in the History of the World… (Royal Exchange), the 20th anniversary production of Disco Pigs (Trafalgar Studios).

Artistic Team
Sarah Butcher
Writer & Director
Sarah Henley
Writer & Actor
Shamia Chalabi