A Norwich multi-storey car park is the perfect venue for poignant show

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

Peaceophobia was performed in the Rose Lane Car Park in Norwich. - Credit: Ian Hodgson

It is not your typical theatre venue, but Rose Lane Car Park proved to be the ideal spot to watch Peaceophobia - a theatre show which is combined with a car meet.

It is part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2022 and is an unapologetic response to rising Islamophobia around the world.

Ali, Sohail, and Casper are played by actors of the same name and the 60-minute show celebrates their love of modified cars and how it is intertwined with their Muslim faith. 

Peaceophobia is part car meet, part theatre show. 

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

Seats are set up on two sides and it is fast-paced from the start as they swerve around the corner of the car park and park on the stage.

The cars are a Supra, a Golf, and a classic Nova and it features an original electric sound score. 

One particularly poignant moment sees one of the actors talk through the history of cars since he was born in 1996 until getting his driving licence.

Peaceophobia is an unapologetic response to rising Islamophobia. 

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

His car then talks back to him with key moments in history such as the Bradford Riots, where the play was conceived, 9/11, and the Charlie Hebdo shooting. 

Police harassment is also a strong theme as the trio talk about being stopped in their cars for no reason and the randomness of this is portrayed in a magic trick.

The audience at Peaceophobia sit around the cars. 

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

The lighting was cleverly used in the abstract piece and cars on other levels leaving the car park added to the atmosphere. 

Most Read

It was also a celebration of the Muslim faith and one of the actors delivered a beautiful prayer at the end which echoed around the car park.

The show comes to the city following sold-out premieres in Bradford and Manchester and it was almost a full house on opening night in Norwich. 

Peaceophobia is part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2022. 

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

The show was 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.

Peaceophobia runs until Saturday, May 21 in the Rose Lane Car Park in Norwich and you can buy tickets at nnfestival.org