The actor chatted to LLLC’s Emma Clarendon about taking Iman Qureshi’s The Funeral Director out on tour.

Hi Assad. For those who don’t know, what is The Funeral Director about? The play follows a couple who run a Muslim Funeral home in the Midlands, and explores how their values and identity as well as their relationship is put to the test when they are confronted with having to bury a young gay man.

How are you feeling about going on tour with the production? Intrigued to see the way audiences from different parts of the UK respond to the questions being raised in the production.

Could you tell me a bit more about your character Zeyd? Zeyd runs the funeral home with his wife Ayesha. He’s honourable, hard working, and genuinely loves caring for people especially when they’re grieving. He sees himself, Ayesha and the business as a pillar of support in the close Muslim community around him.

What was it about the story that made you want to be involved with the production? I was immediately struck by the brutal honesty of the piece. Coming from a Muslim community myself, I understand the importance of a production which highlights how our community needs to be open to talking about homosexuality, and the real human impact it has on lives when we shy away from accepting or even talking about it.

How have you found working on the production so far? An absolute joy. I am in the company of a brilliant team who care about the production as much as I do and it is fascinating to see all the great work coming from them.

What do you think audiences will take away from the story? I hope that people will see the complexities in these characters and that this isn’t a purely black and white argument.

If people are thinking about coming along to see the show – why should they? Because it is painfully relevant and important!

By Emma Clarendon

For more information about the UK tour of The Funeral Director visit:https://www.ett.org.uk/

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