Kabul Goes Pop!

30th March 2022

A Brixton House production presented with HighTide, in association with Mercury Theatre Colchester

★★★★★ New European

‘A brave piece about the betrayal of a generation.’

‘An elegantly written, often very funny, piece that works precisely because it takes a moral position on Afghanistan, and, underlying every word, there is a raw and admirable fury.’

★★★★ The Stage

‘Shanko Chauduhuri’s all-white design, seamlessly incorporating video panels (hat tip to video designer Gino Ricardo Green) showing archive pop clips that evoked a nostalgic glow in this nearly 40-year-old.’

‘Anna Himali Howard’s production pulses with energy.’

***Nominated for two Offie awards: Most Promising New Playwright and Lead Performance in a Play***

In Afghanistan there are many important issues. So I am asking a very important question.

Britney, or Shakira?

Who is the real Queen of Pop?”

Inspired by a true story of Afghanistan’s first youth music TV programme, Kabul Goes Pop: Music Television Afghanistan explores the devastating effects as two young friends take on the political landscape while trying to build a new Afghanistan.

Kabul Goes Pop brings us into a world post the US invasion that is complex, contradictory, and shocking – all to a soundtrack of early 00 pop!

Kabul Goes Pop was first presented at the Mercury Theatre as part of Mercury Reads in early 2021 and was then part of our Inventing The Future Festival later that year. This fully staged production is directed by rising star of British theatre Anna Himali Howard, previously Associate Director on the legendary theatre production FLEABAG by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

2022 Tour

Brixton House: 13 – 1 June

Harlow Playhouse: 8 June

Colchester Mercury: 15 – 18 June

New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich: 20 June

Credit Artwork© Azarra Amoy

Production Photography: Oluwatosin Daniju

Production sponsor: Lansons

Kabul Goes Pop! Poptastic Playlist

To get you in the mood we’ve curated a playlist of the most poptastic noughties hits mentioned in the play.


In Conversation

Writer Waleed Akhtar sat down with Gbolahan Obisesan, Artistic Director of Brixton House to discuss the inspiration behind Kabul Goes Pop! You can watch the full interview here.

Content Warnings:

The show contains swearing and themes which may cause distress.

Sexual violence is referred to, and abduction and murder is described.

Grief over the loss of a loved one is depicted, and the mental illness and death of a family member is referred to.

War and political violence is discussed, including mentions of suicide bombings and a description of being injured in a bombing.

Life under Soviet and Mujahideen conflict and Taliban rule in Afghanistan is described.