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Casting announced for The Curve's Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual

Jay Varsani

Casting news

CASTING has been announced for the world premiere of Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual. Adapted for the stage by Curve Associate Artist, Dougal Irvine, from the 2012 book by Riaz Khan, it runs at The Curve from September 26 to October 6, 2018.

The production sees Curve once again championing young emerging talent, with recent graduates Jay Varsani and Hareet Deol cast in what is described as a thrilling two-man play.

Jay Varsani (pictured top) will play the central role of Riaz, who guides the audience through his induction into the world of football ‘casual’ culture. Varsani is a recent graduate of East 15 Acting School, and he will be making his professional debut in Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual. Roles whilst training include Ariel in The Pillow Man, Laertes in Hamlet, Ginger in Jerusalem, Joe Keller in All My Sons and Riz in The Invisible.

Varsani has also appeared as a stunt performer in Ripper Street for Tiger Aspect Productions and BBC.

Hareet Deol (pictured below), a Leicester local, is set to play Riaz’s brother, Suf. Deol is a recent graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, and he will also be making his professional stage debut in Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual. Credits whilst training include Charles/Silvius in As You Like It, Alex in Microcosm and Peppe in Napoli Milionaira. He also played Josh in The Shore (Solus Productions).

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director, Nikolai Foster said:

“We were privileged to meet many talented young actors in auditions for Dougal Irvine’s cracking adaptation of Riaz Khan’s book, based on his astonishing life story. Both Jay and Hareet instantly stood out as remarkable talents. Curve is all about nurturing new talent and we are proud Jay and Hareet will make their professional stage debuts in this gritty, provocative and funny new play which receives its world premiere here in Leicester this Autumn.

Hareet Deol

“Whilst it’s widely discussed that there is an imbalance of BAME artists graduating from UK drama schools today, the reality of this hit home casting this play, when we discovered only a handful of graduating actors were from South Asian backgrounds. 2018 marks our 10th Birthday at Curve and in looking to the future, we are continuing to find ways in which we can ensure the talent pipeline for future years represents the world we live in today.”

Set in the 1980s, this new piece of writing explores the development of the hybrid youth culture of the time, which developed within a shocking culture of violence. The story is vividly brought to life with the characters of Riaz and Suf portraying the various colourful characters they interact with.

Read more about Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual.