The two characters in the play are Ella and Haseeb. Haseeb is a poet from North West London and Ella is an actor from rural Yorkshire. They both live in London. They both have to work hard to support themselves as artists. They fall in love after meeting at a performance workshop that Ella is running as a way to make some extra money. As their relationship develops, cracks start to appear. Haseeb is a Muslim and is subject to racisim and islamophobia throughout the play.
Ella’s family in Yorkshire have strong views and feelings about communal responsibility that do not sit well with him. She also doesn’t feel totally accepted by Haseeb’s family. Alongside the differences in their cultural backgrounds, there are all the underlying tensions that come with being young, in love and trying to make a living in London, particularly if you feel your roots are elsewhere. I WANNA BE YOURS is an examination of romantic love, understanding, patience, empathy and the struggle that Ella and Haseeb must embark on in order to find a way for their love to survive.
Zia Ahmed, the playwright, is from North West London. He is a London Laureate, having been shortlisted to be the Young Poet Laureate for London 2015/16. He is a former Roundhouse Poetry Slam champion. I Wanna Be Yours was developed with support from the Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme.
“That noble company Paines Plough, de facto national theatre of new writing.” ~ The Daily Telegraph
A Paines Plough and Tamasha Production