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The Buddha of Suburbia: RSC and Wise Children Announce Full Cast

The Buddha of Suburbia, based on the novel by Hanif Kureishi, adapted for the stage by Emma Rice, with Hanif Kureishi, directed by Emma Rice. Playing at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, from Thursday 18 April – Saturday 01 June 2024.

With their production of Blue Beard currently on tour, Wise Children have announced the full cast for the world première of Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia – adapted by the company’s Artistic Director Emma Rice, with Kureishi. The production runs at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in a co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) as part of Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey’s inaugural season as Co-Artistic Directors.

Rice directs Dee Ahluwalia, Ankur Bahl, Raj Bajaj, Tommy Belshaw, Rina Fatania, Natasha Jayetileke, Bettrys Jones, Simon Rivers, Lucy Thackeray and Ewan Wardrop. The production opens on 30 April, with previews from 18 April, and runs until 1 June.

Emma Rice, Artistic Director of Wise Children said, “I'm honoured and excited to be part of Tamara and Daniel's inaugural season as Co-Artistic Directors at the RSC. It’s magic to be returning to The Swan stage - and in such a thrilling way! There’ll be no iambic pentameter here, oh no! Expect party poppers, lawn mowers, bean bags and balloons!

“Hanif Kureishi’s debut novel The Buddha of Suburbia is a messy, joyful, and angry love letter to family, theatre and music. Funny and tender in equal measure, this landmark story fizzes with rebellion, confusion, love and acceptance.

“I couldn’t be more delighted to be working with my hero Hanif Kureishi on transforming his literary masterpiece into a joyful theatrical whoop. As the dawn of a new era shines upon the Swan stage, Buddha promises to be dashing, dirty, devasting and hopeful – just as theatre should be!”

Hanif Kureishi said, “I am absolutely thrilled that Emma Rice is adapting my novel for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Emma has a uniquely theatrical imagination, which, in combination with my own theatre background and the novel’s partial setting in the theatre, will result in a vibrant and provocative production.”

Set Designer: Rachana Jadhav; Costume Designer: Vicki Mortimer; Sound and Video Designer: Simon Baker; Lighting Designer: Jai Morjaria; Composer: Niraj Chag; Choreographer: Etta Murfitt; Fight Director: Kev McCurdy; Casting Director: Matthew Dewsbury CDG.

An irresistible, heart-breaking and joyful exploration of family, friends, sex, theatre and, ultimately, belonging. Emma Rice adapts the award-winning 1990 novel, The Buddha of Suburbia with Hanif Kureishi in a major new co-production with Wise Children and the RSC.

Box Office: 01789 331111 or visit:


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