Project Description


‘Every year the Papatango New Writing Prize comes up with a bit of a cracker…tackles, with grace and dignity, the tricky subject of Islamic attitudes to same-sex relationships.’

The Guardian


‘A triumphant piece of theatre…mesmerising’

Spy in the Stalls


‘Pitch perfect’

Rewrite This Story


‘Papatango have dug up a real gem from a very promising writer.’

London Box Office


‘A writer to watch, Qureshi has written a brilliant piece.’

Theatre Full Stop


‘Tough, tender…extremely moving.’

Asian Culture Vulture

“I just thought it would be a secret I’d have to die with. And now – I think it’ll be what kills me.”

Life as the director of a Muslim funeral parlour isn’t always easy, but Ayesha has things pretty sorted. She and Zeyd share everything: a marriage, a business, a future.

Until Tom walks in to organise his boyfriend’s funeral. A snap moral decision, informed by the values of Ayesha’s community and faith, has profound consequences.

Forced to confront a secret she has hidden even from herself, Ayesha must decide who she is – no matter the cost.

Chosen from 1,384 entries to the 2018 Papatango New Writing Prize, The Funeral Director is an incisive and heartfelt story of sexuality, gender and religion in 21st-century Britain.


Writer – Iman Quershi
Director – Hannah Hauer-King
Designer – Amy Jane Cook
Lighting Designer – Jack Weir
Sound Designer – Max Pappenheim
Advertising & Marketing – Joe Public Ltd
Press & Publicity – Kate Morley PR


Aryana Ramkhalawon
Edward Stone
Assad Zaman
Francesca Zoutewelle

Produced for and on behalf of English Touring Theatre & Papatango Theatre Company