Theatre Royal Stratford East has opened its autumn season with the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe hit, Counting Stars, from its newly appointed writer-in-residence Atiha Sen Gupta.
The stage is transformed into a nightclub where audiences sit to enjoy this funny, heartbreaking tale about worker exploitation and love, which is being directed by the theatre’s associate director, Pooja Ghai.
Doors will open early so theatre-goers can soak up the atmosphere, have a drink from the bar on stage and listen to the music, before the show.
Delving into the underworld of a London nightclub, Counting Stars examines the degrading working conditions of some of Britain’s most exploited people through the prism of the doomed love story of toilet attendants Abiodun and Sophie, who exist on tips alone.
Counting Stars is a heartfelt and funny portrait of immigrant life, starring Estella Daniels as Sophie and Lanre Malaolu as Abiodun.
Estella Daniels’ theatre credits include Racing Demon (Sheffield Crucible), The Eumenedies (The Rag Factory), Dirty Butterfly and Festa (Young Vic) and Iya-Ile (The First Wife) (Soho Theatre). Her TV credits include Sinbad, Death In Paradise and Da Vinci’s Demons.
Lanre Malaolu’s theatre credits include The Jew of Malta, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Marat/Sade (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Internet Is Serious Business (Royal Court), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Park Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Almedia Theatre) and Macbeth (Globe Theatre).
His screen credits include Remainder, The Armstrong & Miller Show, Harley’s Angels and Driving Me Mad.
Atiha Sen Gupta has been writing plays since the age of 14 for the Heat & Light Company – a drama youth group based at Hampstead Theatre – and Anna Scher Theatre. She is currently under commission to the Bush Theatre.
For television she co-wrote an episode of BBC1’s medical drama Holby City and was one of the writers on E4’s drama Skins.