Written by Omar El-Khairy & Tanya Singh

When a woman conquers her lover, she breaks him apart, piece by piece.

Sudan, 1956.

As their nation rises from the rubble of a defeated colonial regime, the villagers of Wad Hamid must adjust to radical social changes. Amidst new freedoms, quixotic young Naima dreams of creating a better future. But her equally headstrong mother, Hafeeza, has other designs - and is hiding secrets of a turbulent past.

Thirty years earlier, Hafeeza's brother Mustafa entered the decadent world of jazz age London, a stranger navigating a city in flux.

Naima unravels his story from the remnants of his shattered life - newspaper headlines, torn photographs, a broken string of pearls. Lover, comrade, murderer, which is he?

Naima unravels ...

Burst premiered at the Zoo Venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010.

Loosely inspired by Tayeb Salih's postcolonial classic Season of Migration to the North, our Edinburgh production took the elliptical story of Mustafa Sa'eed as a starting point from which we developed our own narrative and a new set of characters. To our knowledge, this is the first time that this groundbreaking novel had ever been fully adapted for the stage.

Paper Tiger is now looking to re-explore the novel and Burst further, and is thus seeking developmental support.

a beautiful, tightly-written and condensed version of a complex story … Director Tanya Singh does particularly well at overlapping the two time periods … stunning

Corinne Salisbury, British Theatre Guide

highly ambitious ... visually gorgeous ... a delightful sensuous experience

Broadway Baby

a script with real human energy



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More on our 2010 production & Burst's journey so far:

Digging into the same historical archives that Tayeb Salih drew upon for his London characters, we stumbled across so many enigmatic people and stories – some of whom we tried to bring back to life in our play. After a long process of ensemble devising workshops, during which Barbara Fuchs' design was central, we pieced together our own text – which had gone beyond a 'straight' adaptation, taking on a life of its own.

We were also fortunate to collaborate with acclaimed Sudanese vocalist Amira Kheir and Palestinian sound artist Basel Abbas to create original soundscapes for this production. Click here to hear Amira on our trailer.

Credits for 2010 production:

NAIMA - Nadia Nadif

HAFEEZA - Sabina Cameron

MASOOD - Rezaul Kabir

YOUSSEF - Andre Skeete

MUSTAFA - El Razzougui

CECILY - Joanna Bell

ELSIE - Chiara Goldsmith


Written by Omar El-Khairy

Directed by Tanya Singh

Designed by Barbara Fuchs

Produced by Yasemin Rashit


Many thanks to Amira Kheir, Basel Abbas, Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Ben Polhill and everyone at The George.