A HAMPSTEAD THEATRE PRODUCTION

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS

By STEPHEN BROWN
BASED ON THE MEMOIR BY RORY STEWART

Directed by SIMON GODWIN

Running time: 1 hour and 40 minutes with no interval

£10 - £35 (See ticket information)

It’s democracy. Everyone is equally unhappy. It’s the defining feature of the system

Main Stage

Choose a date and select your own seats online

28 Apr - 3 Jun 2017
£10 - £35

Box Office: 020 7722 9301

'A riveting, fascinating play' ★★★★ The Times
'A terrific central performance from Henry Lloyd-Hughes' ★★★★ The Independent


September 2003. Rory Stewart, a thirty year old former British diplomat, is posted to serve as governor in a province of the newly liberated Iraq. His job is to help build a new civil society at peace with itself and its neighbours - an ambitious mission, admittedly, but outperforming Saddam should surely not prove too difficult…

Stephen Brown’s new play, based on Rory Stewart’s critically acclaimed memoir Occupational Hazards, tells an extraordinary story about the moral conflicts, the dangers and the comic absurdities inherent in any foreign occupation.

Brown scripted Filter Theatre’s sell-out hit Faster (BAC, London/Lyric Studio, London/UK tour/Frankfurt/59E59 Theater, New York).  His play, Future Me, premiered at Theatre503 in London to wide acclaim, toured the UK and had US productions in Berkeley, CA and at the Public Theater, New York.

Simon Godwin makes his Hampstead directorial debut. His recent credits include Twelfth Night, starring Tamsin Greig and Man and Superman, starring Ralph Fiennes (both National Theatre).

Henry Lloyd-Hughes returns to Hampstead following Tiger Country in 2011. His other theatre credits include Posh (Royal Court/West End) and The Changeling (Young Vic). His television credits include Indian Summers, Parade’s End and The Inbetweeners.

Occupational Hazards is supported by The London Community Foundation & Cockayne – Grants for the Arts

 

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  • The Times

    'This entire story sounds more than a little preposterous from the get-go. It revolves round an unlikely character, a Scot named Rory Stewart, who, in so many ways, seems out of another, more romantic age. In his twenties he was a soldier and a diplomat before deciding to walk across Afghanistan. He returned home, to the Scottish Borders, to plant 400 trees.'

    '“It is March 2003,” says Stewart, played by Henry Lloyd-Hughes with remarkable verisimilitude. “I watch the invasion of Iraq on TV. I’m not in the Foreign Office any more. But I send in my CV anyway.”'

    'Unbelievable? Believe it. In 2006 Stewart, now an MP, wrote a memoir that inspired his old school friend Stephen Brown to write this play about Stewart’s time in Maysan, trying to quell chaos by (so British) forming a local council. It’s like a very sophisticated but deadly form of parish politics, the two local bigwigs being the charismatic “Prince of the Marshes” Karim (a regal Silas Carson) and an on-the-rise Shia cleric, Seyyed Hassan (Johndeep More).'

    Even on a good day (and there aren’t many), it’s a hornet’s nest in a hurricane. It is all portrayed on a stark set of interlocking concrete walls, harsh and desert-like, by Paul WillsSimon Godwin directs with a sure hand.'

    'You wouldn’t have thought being a governorate co-ordinator could have been this interesting, but Lloyd-Hughes is riveting, embodying this sub-Lawrentian figure, a man of high ideals who is left having to grapple with the everyday reality of a land at war with itself and, also, with him. In Iraq the devil is in the detail, and this fascinating play gives us exactly that.'

    To read the full review click here to visit The Times online.

    You wouldn’t have thought being a governorate co-ordinator in Iraq could be so interesting, but this is a riveting, fascinating play
    ,
  • The Independent

    From Rory Stewart's acclaimed memoir of the same name, Stephen Brown has fashioned this gripping, thought-provoking, sometimes gruesomely funny play which runs 110 minutes without an interval.  Performed against Paul Wills's design of sliding concrete walls with frazzling florescent tubes, Simon Godwin's production boasts a terrific central performance from Henry Lloyd-Hughes.  Switching easily between direct address and dialogue, he radiates the intelligence, charm and sometimes naïve idealism and stubbornness of Stewart who here, in front of an ever-denser collage of yellow post-it notes, describes the difficulties of arriving at a representative council as akin to working out “the table plan for the world's most awkward wedding”. 

    The excellent John Mackay doubles as Paul Bremer, US leader of the Coalition Provisional Authority, with his unrealistic talk of building “a multi-ethnic, decentralised prosperous state, based on human rights” and the British Colonel who is disgruntled by Rory's attempts to include in the negotiations Seyyed Hassan (Johndeep More) the hardline Sadrist leader whose followers have just murdered six British policemen. “You say these people want democracy. They want to be not fucking dead,” he ripostes.  

    The ace performances have a vivid story-telling vigour a swift knack of suggesting three-dimensional life. It's only by conveying the depth of culture within the Iraqi characters that you can get the measure of the intractable problems that arise when two visions of the world clash. Aiysha Hart is keenly impassioned as Rana, an Iraqi woman running a project to teach local women to sew, who can already see the signs of a resurgent misogynist repression. Nezar Alderazi snags your heart as Rory's translator who informs us that in 2006, almost certainly by members of an Islamist militia, he will be dragged from his car and shot dead. The Coalition certainly did not leave behind a multicultural democracy. But does that failure mean that we should stand by and writhe from all thoughts of intervention in the future?  That's the question that is left hanging in the air at the end of this compelling piece.

    To read the full review click here to visit The Independent online

    Occupational Hazards, Hampstead Theatre, London, review: A gripping, thought-provoking, sometimes gruesomely funny play
    ,

Artistic team

WRITER

STEPHEN BROWN

BASED ON THE MEMOIR BY

RORY STEWART

DIRECTOR

SIMON GODWIN 

DESIGNER

PAUL WILLS 

LIGHTING

OLIVER FENWICK

SOUND

ALEX CAPLEN

MOVEMENT DIRECTOR

JOHN ROSS

CASTING

SUZANNE CROWLEY AND GILLY POOLE

Cast

LISTEN TO HENRY LLOYD-HUGHES ON BBC RADIO 2

Posted on 11 May 2017

Star of Occupational Hazards Henry Lloyd-Hughes speaks to BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright

Occupational Hazards: Press Night Photos

Posted on 9 May 2017

Photos by Alice Boagey

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS: ★★★★ FROM THE TIMES

Posted on 9 May 2017

Ann Treneman awards Occupational Hazards four stars

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS: ★★★★ FROM THE INDEPENDENT

Posted on 9 May 2017

Paul Taylor awards Occupational Hazards four stars

The Times interview Stephen Brown and Rory Stewart

Posted on 3 May 2017

David Aaronovitch interviews Occupational Hazard's original author Rory Stewart and playwright Stephen Brown

Read an extract from Rory Stewart's book Occupational Hazards

Posted on 12 April 2017

An exclusive extract from the introduction to Rory Stewart’s book Occupational Hazards: My Time Governing in Iraq

CAST ANNOUNCED FOR OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS

Posted on 22 March 2017

Hampstead Theatre announces casting for the world premiere of Occupational Hazards

The Evening Standard interviews Henry Lloyd-Hughes

Posted on 22 March 2017

Henry Lloyd-Hughes has already played David Miliband on TV and now he is crossing the political divide to portray a prominent Tory politician.

THREE NEW MAIN STAGE SHOWS ANNOUNCED

Posted on 23 January 2017

Three new Main Stage shows announced for 2017

Previews, Mondays and matinees 

Full price: £28/£25/£18
Under 30s/Students: £15/£10* 
Seniors (matinees only): £20/£18/£15
Groups: For every 9 tickets get the 10th free
Access: £15

Tuesday – Saturday evenings 


Full price: £35/£30/£25
Under 30s/Students: £15/£10* 
Groups: For every 9 tickets get the 10th free
Access: £15

*Under 30s and Student concession seats are available in rows A (£15) & Q (£10)

Audio described performance:
3 June at 3pm, with a touch tour at 1.30pm

Captioned performance:
1 June at 7.30pm, with a transcribed post show discussion

Video and Image Gallery

Vincent Ebrahim (Abu Rashid), Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Rory Stewart), John Mackay (The Colonel/Bremner), Silas Carson (Karim), Amy Cudden (JD), Waj Ali (Musab), Chi-San Howard (Associate Choreographer), Johndeep More (Seyyed Hassan), Aiysha Hart (Rana) and Nezar Alderazi (Ahmed) Vincent Ebrahim (Abu Rashid), Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Rory Stewart), John Mackay (The Colonel/Bremner), Silas Carson (Karim), Amy Cudden (JD), Waj Ali (Musab), Chi-San Howard (Associate Choreographer), Johndeep More (Seyyed Hassan), Aiysha Hart (Rana) and Nezar Alderazi (Ahmed)
Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Rory Stewart) Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Rory Stewart)
Simon Godwin (Director) Simon Godwin (Director)
Amy Cudden (JD) Amy Cudden (JD)
Silas Carson (Karim) Silas Carson (Karim)
Vincent Ebrahim (Abu Rashid) Vincent Ebrahim (Abu Rashid)
Nezar Alderazi (Ahmed) Nezar Alderazi (Ahmed)
Occupational Hazards in rehearsals Occupational Hazards in rehearsals
Aiysha Hart (Rana) Aiysha Hart (Rana)
Vangelis Christodoulou (Sayyed Ismail) Vangelis Christodoulou (Sayyed Ismail)
John Mackay (The Colonel/Bremner) John Mackay (The Colonel/Bremner)
Vangelis Christodoulou (Sayyed Ismail), Johndeep More (Seyyed Hassan) and Waj Ali (Musab) Vangelis Christodoulou (Sayyed Ismail), Johndeep More (Seyyed Hassan) and Waj Ali (Musab)
Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Rory Stewart) Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Rory Stewart)
Silas Carson (Karim), John Mackay (The Colonel/Bremner), Amy Cudden (JD), Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Rory Stewart), Nezar Alderazi (Ahmed), Waj Ali (Musab), Vangelis Christodoulou (Seyyed Ismail) and Johndeep More (Seyyed Hassan) Silas Carson (Karim), John Mackay (The Colonel/Bremner), Amy Cudden (JD), Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Rory Stewart), Nezar Alderazi (Ahmed), Waj Ali (Musab), Vangelis Christodoulou (Seyyed Ismail) and Johndeep More (Seyyed Hassan)
Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Rory Stewart) and Simon Godwin (Director) Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Rory Stewart) and Simon Godwin (Director)
Henry Lloyd-Hughes Henry Lloyd-Hughes
Johndeep More Johndeep More
Silas Carson Silas Carson
John Mackay, Amy Cudden and Henry Lloyd-Hughes John Mackay, Amy Cudden and Henry Lloyd-Hughes
John Mackay John Mackay
Vangelis Christodoulou and Henry Lloyd-Hughes Vangelis Christodoulou and Henry Lloyd-Hughes
Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Vincent Ebrahim Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Vincent Ebrahim
Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Silas Carson Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Silas Carson
Johndeep More, Waj Ali and Vangelis Christodoulou Johndeep More, Waj Ali and Vangelis Christodoulou
Henry Lloyd-Hughes Henry Lloyd-Hughes
Nezar Alderazi Nezar Alderazi
Amy Cudden Amy Cudden
Aiysha Hart Aiysha Hart