The play



A funfair came to town. A sizzler twist, gravitron, ghost ride, boxing shows, a house of magic mirrors and heavenly candy floss machines were amongst the many attractions. Thrill-seekers got excited. But there was something that they didn’t quite expect at the fair as long-term rivals also came to play out their turf wars in the boxing ring…

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Delight mingled with dread, when Jay and Gina got caught up in the middle of a sinister plot… Stories emerged from the past to haunt the youngsters who had no idea what they had got themselves into, and a house of mirrors turned into a house of cards that threatened to collapse around them.

How it happened

Fair’s (Not) Fair! involved young Peterborough residents, non-traditional venues and collaboration with city artists. You can read about it in a Sociological Review article here. Auditions, workshops and rehearsals took place at diverse venues ranging from the mainly white Ormiston Bushfield Academy in a New Town area on the south-western edge of the city, to Cromwell Road Mosque and Millfield Medical Centre in the much more ethnically diverse Central Ward…

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The first workshop led by Director and Creative Producer Mukul Ahmed took place in September 2011 at the Peterborough Racial Equality Council offices, and, in the months that followed, as Raminder Kaur read the oral histories being recorded by Kaveri Qureshi and Ben Rogaly and began conceiving Fair’s (Not) Fair! and writing the script, venues were being approached for their involvement. As with the photography work we wanted to take the play to non-traditional venues, to build audiences that would not often (if ever) go to the well-established Key Theatre, to move away from an arts scene that sometimes came across as mainly white and middle-class. We are grateful to all who took part, to Keely Mills and Jabeen Shafee for excellent production management, to actors Rez Kabir and Erene Kaptani, who joined the cast from London at short notice; to stage managers Alex Airey and Paul Spence; set designer Stuart Payn, and artists Chris Porsz and Jaroslaw Sokol, whose work was incorporated into the set; and sound designer Ashleigh Valintine. We also thank Zain Awan for help with the first audition and for the design of the flyer; David Glenn for the original photograph on which it is based; Reverend Ron Watkinson, Val Watkinson and Nadine Gereson for generosity with accommodation when we needed it; Sarah Kennedy and Abdullah Majid for rehearsal space; and Peterborough United Football Club (The POSH); St Paul’s Church, New England; Gladstone Park Community Centre; and the Green Backyard for being amazing venues.