Video above by Mustapha Kseibati
Photos by Robert Day

Mustafa
By Naylah Ahmed
A co-production with Birmingham Repertory Company
Presented at Soho Theatre and toured to Plymouth, Bradford, Birmingham, and Manchester
March/April 2012

Mustafa is in prison for the death of a teenage boy during an exorcism. Racked with guilt at the loss of an innocent life and isolated in a world where his beliefs are constantly challenged, he tries to avoid trouble. But when prisoners who taunt him suffer mysterious injuries and prison officers start behaving strangely, Mustafa starts to think the evil djinn he tried to banish from the young victim’s body is still with him and he must face it once more…

This production asked, is Mustafa the brutal killer or a brave innocent man who risked his life to deliver the teenager from a dangerous being? This compelling and vivid thriller where nothing is quite what it seems kept audiences on the edge of their seats. The show was well received, selling out many performances in London, Birmingham and Manchester

Mustafa was nominated for 4 Offies in the 2012 Off West End Theatre Awards and nominated for the 2013 Royal National Theatre Playrights Award.

A compelling and engaging production, delicately directed by Janet Steel of this poignantly profound and insightful piece...’
What’s On Stage

'It has a metaphorical dimension with a feared but well-meaning Muslim trapped inside a grim white compound - Islamophobia in a nutshell...
As tightly structured as the bars on Colin Falconer's brooding set, both play and production deliver a good few cold shivers.'
Time Out   3* Review

A tantalising way of exploring perceptions of (and prejudices towards) ‘otherness’.  Janet Steel’s tense production… full of vividly observed performances’
Metro

'With a stunning set…. we feel the ghosts of the other characters all around in a chilling and engrossing piece of work which brought a brand new theatre space to life'.
Yorskshire Post

'Dark and unsettling, this compelling thriller is expertly written, and takes ghost stories to another level.'
Whatsonlive.co.uk

Directed by Janet Steel
Designed by Colin Falconer
Lighting by Tim Mitchell
Music by Arun Ghosh
Cast Ryan Early, Munir Khairdin,
Paul McCleary and Gary Pillai

'Throughout the eighties we spent many Eid nights during family get together huddled in a room listening to djinn stories that kept us deliciously scared but that we heard, essentially, as stories, fiction.  As I got older I started thinking about where these stories began, and realised when they were first recounted, miles away in Pakistan, they were told as accounts of something that had really happened. So why didn't we see them that way, what had changed? There are so many ways of exploring this rich subject matter, but the transition of account to story is what first sparked the idea for what finally came to be Mustafa.'
Naylah Ahmed