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Cast announced for Octagon comedy premiere

A new "East meets Wigan" comedy premieres at Bolton Octagon in April - two years after local audiences saw the first incarnation of the show.

Habibti Driver, a co-production with Tara Finney Productions, can be seen from April 21–May 7, directed by Sepy Baghaei.

Relationships are put to the test between Egyptian Muslim taxi driver and his half-Egyptian, half-Wigan daughter Shazia, in a play based on co-writer Shamia Chalabi's real-life experiences.

Written by Shamia and Sarah Henley, the show-in-progress was performed as a reading as part of the Octagon’s First Bite series in 2019, and now audiences can enjoy the first full-scale production, which explores the clashes, compromises and comedy that come with living in a mixed-culture family in modern Britain, from family members learning to drive in head of the family Ashraf's taxi, to a wild session of karaoke. The cast includes: Shamia Chalabi, Houda Echouafni, Dana Haqjoo, Timothy O’Hara, Helen Sheals and Hemi Yeroham.

Writers Shamia and Sarah said: “After a tough few years we think the show will be the perfect tonic. We hope that audiences will embrace its sense of warmth, community and humour. Bolton is the perfect home for it.”

Director Sepy Baghaei added: “I’m delighted to be working with this incredibly talented cast, many of whom have been ready and raring to tell this story for over two years now.

"Despite pandemic delays, I know everyone in the cast is just as excited as ever to be bringing the show to Bolton."


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