Anders Lustgarten

Plays by Anders Lustgarten

Black Jesus

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Zimbabwe. 2015. The Mugabe Government has fallen and investigations into its abuses have begun. Eunice Ncube, working for the new Truth and Justice Commission, begins the interviewing of Gabriel Chibamu, one of the most infamous perpetrators of the horrors of the Mugabe regime. As Gabriel's trial and inevitable prosecution approach, Eunice begins to sift through the past – only to find that right and wrong, and guilt and innocence, are far less clear than she first thought . . .

This stunning play by Finborough Theatre Playwright-in-Residence, and one of the UK's leading political playwrights, Anders Lustgarten, is more urgent than ever. Black Jesus unpicks the political complexities of Zimbabwe through the devastating personal journeys of two very different people, both scarred by one of Africa's most notorious dictatorships.

Black Jesus was first read at the Finborough Theatre as a staged reading as part of Vibrant 2012 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights: Saturday, 23 July 2011, before its first full performance at the Finborough Theatre on Tuesday, 1 October 2013.

A Day At The Racists

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A Day at the Racists is a brave piece of political theatre. It both attempts to understand why people might be drawn to the BNP and diagnoses a deeper cause of that attraction: the political abandonment and betrayal of the working class by New Labour.

Pete Case used to be a leading Labour Party organiser in the local car factories. Now he struggles to get by as a decorator as immigrant workers undercut his best mate's firm; his son Mark can't get a job or onto the housing list; and nobody, from his Labour MP to his granddaughter's teacher, seems to care. Then Pete finds unexpected hope: Gina is young, mixed race and standing for Parliament on a platform of helping the local community. She is standing for the British National Party. As Pete's rage and despair gradually overcome his longstanding loathing of the BNP, he is drawn into the world of Gina's campaign and finds himself entangled in a nightmare of political machinations that pit his closest relationships – son, best mate, lover – against his longest-held beliefs and newfound aims. The play’s timely premiere was at the Finborough Theatre in 2010.

If You Don't Let Us Dream, We Won't Let You Sleep

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

'I believe that open markets and free enterprise are the best imaginable force for improving human wealth and happiness. And I would go further: where they work properly, they can actually promote morality.' David Cameron, January 2012.

As the financial world issues its shock treatment, what happens when the City’s agenda is taken to its ultimate conclusion? Anders Lustgarten’s passionately argued play explodes the ethos of austerity and offers an alternative.

Described by the critic Aleks Sierz as 'a perceptive, provocative and poetically political reading of the state we’re all in', If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep received its world premiere on 15 February 2013 at the Royal Court Theatre, London.

The Secret Theatre  

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

'It's not enough that men are watched;

they must think themselves watched,

even when they are not'

Spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham oversees a cast surveillance network from the heart of Elizabeth I's court. As the nation's relationship with Europe deteriorates and civil unrest grows, Walsingham adopts ever more extreme tactics to keep his queen and country safe. But does he risk losing control of the apparatus he has created and destryoing the lives ot those closest to him? And can such safety ever be achieved?

The Secret Theatre asks what we are prepared to sacrifice in order to ensure our safety. Shot through with moments of the blackest humour, this smart, tense thriller was published to coincide with the world premiere at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare#s Globe Theatre in November 2017.

Anders Lustgarten is Pearson Playwright-in-Residence at the Finborough Theatre, where his first two plays, The Insurgents (2007) and Enduring Freedom (2008), were produced. Other work includes The Punishment Stories, (shortlisted for the 2007 Verity Bargate Award), an adaptation of Slawomir Mrozek's The Police (BAC 2007), The Sugar-Coated Bullets of the Bourgeoisie (2010) for the National Theatre Studio and If You Don't Let Us Dream Then We Won't Let You Sleep (Royal Court, 2013). Anders is a political activist, has taught on Death Row, been arrested by the Turkish secret police, and holds a PhD in Chinese politics from the University of California. He also won the inaugural Harold Pinter Playwrights Award with a commission from the Royal Court in 2011.