Home > The Funeral Director
English Touring Theatre and Papatango Theatre presents

The Funeral Director + Q&A

“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 their community and their 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.

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

★★★★ “Makes a humane point without lapsing into preachiness… Examines Islamic attitudes to same-sex relationships with grace and dignity.” – The Guardian

“At an hour-and-a-half without an interval, The Funeral Director presents a bit of a challenge, but the payback far outweighs the investment… An accomplished piece of work.” – Nottingham Post

“Sensitive and nuanced.” – The Stage

“The play certainly unfolds in fine dramatic style, and highlights not only an area of profound tension and negotiation in our society, but also some of the ways in which those tensions might eventually be resolved.” – The Scotsman

There’s a stellar production here. It has the writing, the concept and ideology behind it to treat subjects surrounding death, same-sex relations and religion well.” – The Reviews Hub

★★★★ “This unflinching text is a charged, thought-provoking piece with relevance beyond its geographic and cultural setting.” – The Skinny

★★★★ “A fascinating conundrum lies at the heart of The Funeral Director… There are some nice performances here and a genuinely moving conclusion… A play that will have you discussing its central premise for hours after you’ve left the theatre.” – Bouquets & Brickbats

★★★★ “The Funeral Director is a powerful, thought-provoking 90 minutes of theatre, which shows great promise from all involved.” – The Wee Review

★★★★ “A very good play… The applause was loud and long.” – ScotsGay Arts

★★★★★ “A triumphant piece of theatre… Mesmerising.” – Ravi Ghosh, Spy in the Stalls

★★★★★ “Pitch perfect.” – Shaun Dicks, Rewrite This Story

★★★★ “Papatango have dug up a real gem from a very promising writer.” – Alex Benjamin, London Box Office

★★★★ “A writer to watch, Qureshi has written a brilliant piece.” – Niall Hunt, Theatre Full Stop

★★★★ “Tough, tender… Extremely moving.” – Asian Culture Vulture

★★★★ “Bravely explores the intersection of religious freedom, culture and LGBTQI rights… Despite the weight of its themes, there is plenty of sharp, dark comedy to enjoy.” – Afridiziak

Want to know more about Papatango Theatre and English Touring Theatre?

Event details

After the performance on Wed 27 Mar there will a post-show Q&A with the cast and creative team.