City car park to be transformed into theatre venue for groundbreaking show

Peaceophobia will be staged in the Rose Lane Car Park in Norwich.

Peaceophobia will be staged in the Rose Lane Car Park in Norwich. - Credit: Ian Hodgson

Following a sell-out premiere in 2021, a show which combines a car meet with live theatre is coming to Norwich.

Peaceophobia will be performed at Rose Lane Car Park in the city from Wednesday, May 18, until Saturday, May 21. 

It is part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2022 programme, which is a multi-arts event that celebrates its 250th anniversary this year.

Peaceophobia is an unapologetic response to rising Islamophobia. 

Peaceophobia is an unapologetic response to rising Islamophobia. - Credit: Ian Hodgson

Peaceophobia is an unapologetic response to rising Islamophobia around the world.

It is told from the perspective of three young Pakistani men who celebrate their friendships, Muslim faith and modified cars. 

It explores how you find peace in a world that tells you who you are, growing up in the shadow of the Bradford Riots, 9/11 and police harassment.

Cars and faith are a sanctuary, an escape and an expression for Ali, Sohail and Casper.

Peaceophobia is part car meet, part theatre show. 

Peaceophobia is part car meet, part theatre show. - Credit: Ian Hodgson

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Staged in Rose Lane Car Park with a Supra, a Golf and a classic Nova, the show features cinematic lighting and an original electronic sound score.

The show was conceived in Bradford and co-directed by young women from Speakers Corner Collective and award-winning theatre company Common Wealth.

It was co-written by acclaimed playwright Zia Ahmed and Bradford Modified Club, in co-production with Fuel.

The audience at Peaceophobia sit around the cars. 

The audience at Peaceophobia sit around the cars. - Credit: Ian Hodgson

The show comes to Norwich following a sell-out premiere in Bradford and Manchester in 2021.

Rosema Nawaz, of Speakers Corner Collective, said: "Peaceophobia is intriguing and it questions stereotypes - making you think outside the box.

"The audience sit around the actors next to the cars and it is different at each site.

"When we premiered it was amazing to get so much positive feedback, some people came to see the show twice as they saw different elements from different angles.

Peaceophobia is part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2022. 

Peaceophobia is part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2022. - Credit: Ian Hodgson

"We wanted to focus on the stories of Muslim men through the experiences of our brothers, uncles and fathers that we have seen them go through.

"It is challenging and different but also exciting with lots of funny elements."

The 60-minute show is suitable for over 12s with tickets £15.30-£17 or £7.50 for under 18s - book at nnfestival.org.uk/whats-on/peaceophobia

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival runs from May 13 to 29.