Cast announced for Iman Qureshi’s latest play The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs at Soho Theatre

Casting has been announced for Iman Qureshi’s latest play The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs at Soho Theatre.

Directed by Hannah Hauer-King, the production runs 5 May to 11 June.

Those cast Are Kibong Tanji (aldwych, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Trafalgar Studios), Claudia Jolly (Old Vic, Chichester Festival Theatre), Shuna Snow (RSC), Lara Sawalha (National Theatre, Young Vic, Almeida), Freddie Stabb (Graeae, Manchester Royal Exchange), Mariah Louca (Young Vic, Everyman, Almeida, Royal Court), Fanta Barrie (Birmingham Rep, The Other Palace, Hightide) and Fayez Bakhsh (The National).

When banks and sandwich shops have more pride than we do, where can we go to be with our tribe?

It’s 2022. There’s a rainbow flag in every high street window – and no lesbian bar. Enter The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs: a lesbian choir on a mission to unite its community.

Qureshi (2018 Papatango Prize winner, The Funeral Director and Soho Six 2019 alumni) breaks new ground writing a comedy about a lesbian community choir struggling to survive. Led by a world-weary conductor with lofty ambitions, the disparate and unruly choir gossip, flirt and attempt to sing their way onto the main stage at Pride.

The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs is a timely play which places community and togetherness at its very heart, whilst exploring deeper questions about lesbian invisibility, male violence and ultimately, the desire for a life with dignity and a sense of belonging.

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From Soho Theatre and Damsel Productions, the production’s creative team includes set and costume designer Anna Reid, costume designer Danielle Levy, lighting designer Zoe Spurr, sound designer and co-music director by Nicola Chang, co-music director and vocal coach Victoria Calver, fight directors Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown and casting director Nadine Rennie CDG.

Writer Qureshi said: “When I first arrived in London, Soho instantly felt like home. I’m thrilled that this precious piece has found its home too in the heart of Soho. This show could be for anyone who has felt alone and is longing for connection, communion, or a big warm hug.”

Director Hauer-King added: “Plays with songs have a particular power and can connect with audiences in a special way. This is a story about belonging, harmony and togetherness, and the music of the choir feels like the perfect way to riff on these themes. But despite its lighter tones, Ministry is also a play asking some difficult questions about why lesbian women struggle to commune and take up space.”

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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