New London play tells story of "Guantanamo Boy"

Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:52am EST
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - A theatre in east London is staging new play "Guantanamo Boy" this week, focusing on the U.S. detention camp as it marks it 10th anniversary and engaging local Muslims in political debate.

The production, based on a 2009 novel of the same name by Anna Perera, opens on Tuesday at Stratford Circus, located in an area of the capital with a large Muslim population.

"Stratford wanted to start making emotionally challenging theatre for a teenage audience and we are in east London with a lot of Asian resonance," said director Dominic Hingorani.

"It (Guantanamo Bay) obviously has a lot of resonance with people here."

It is not the first time detainees' experiences at Guantanamo Bay have been portrayed on stage and screen.

Michael Winterbottom co-directed docu-drama "The Road to Guantanamo" in 2006 based on the true story of three British Muslims who were held at the U.S. military base in Cuba before being released.

And South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu appeared in a U.S. version of a London play called "Guantanamo: Honour Bound to Defend Freedom" based on spoken testimony given by detainees.

Hingorani said his adaptation of Perera's novel looked at Guantanamo through the eyes of a Muslim teenager from Britain who is detained during a family visit to Pakistan because he is suspected of being a terrorist.   Continued...