Considerably expanded from a short slot in the Tricycle’s 2009  The Great Game season, U.S. playwright  J.T. Rogers’ simply staged new version takes a serious, critical – but often very funny – look at American, British and Russian involvement in the ongoing troubles in Afghanistan from 1981–1991.

He paints an almost exclusively male world of diplomatic double-dealing, unlikely friendships and questionable alliances where guns are the gift of choice and language isn’t the only barrier to understanding.

At the centre, Lloyd Owen impresses as the new CIA operative, covertly plying his mujahideen “asset” with munitions, money and chart-topping tapes in exchange for information about his Pakistani counterpart, and Adam James’ garrulous MI6 spook runs the risk of being more hindrance than help in their mutual efforts to oust the Soviet troops.


Lyttelton at the National, South Bank,  SE1 9PX
020 7452 3000
Tube: Waterloo tube 
In rep until at least 2nd November
£10 – £44

Louise Kingsley