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26 February – 21 March

A co-production between Paul Jellis and the Gate Theatre, in association with the National Theatre Studio: The JP Morgan Award for Emerging Directors production.

The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco

Book Tickets

Box office: 020 7229 0706

Key dates

£10 Gatecrasher dates
  • Thu 26 Feb, 7.30pm 
    Fri 27 Feb, 7.30pm
    Sat 28 Feb, 7.30pm
    Tue 3 Mar, 7.30pm 
    Sat 7 Mar, 3pm 
    Sat 14 Mar, 3pm 
    Wed 18 Mar, 3pm 
    Sat 21 Mar, 3pm 

Press night
  • Mon 2 Mar, 7pm  

Captioned Performance
  • Thu 12 Mar, 7.30pm

By Andrew Whaley

Directed by Elayce Ismail, winner of the JP Morgan Award for Emerging Directors

Fiasco! Freedom Fighter. Fiction, fake or fact. Comrade Fiasco. The man who came out of a cave, seven years after the fact of independence, the memories of war still clinging to his skull like spoils.
Zimbabwe, 1986. Chidhina, Febi and Jungle are being held in prison after a brawl. A mysterious figure, Fiasco, appears in their cell claiming to be a freedom fighter who has spent many years hiding in a mountain cave, unaware Zimbabwe is finally free from British colonial rule.

As the cellmates attempt to piece together Fiasco’s confused experience of the war and journey through his extraordinary story, they must discover if he’s really who he claims to be and confront their own memories of the struggle to ask: what is the true value of liberation?

The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco is a co-production between Paul Jellis and the Gate Theatre, in association with the National Theatre Studio: The JP Morgan Award for Emerging Directors production.

The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco is supported by the Jerwood Young Designers Programme.

Part of the Freedom Burning season. 
Buy both shows, The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco and Eclipsed for only £30.






Book Tickets

Mon - Sat 7.30pm 
Sat 3pm 

The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco is supported by the JP Morgan Award for Emerging Directors.  It is also part of the Jerwood Young Designers Programme, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

The Gate's work is made possible by public funding from Arts Council England.

Special thanks to Jon and NoraLee Sedmak.

We are deeply grateful for the faith in our work shown by our funders.



Anna Lewis +

Assistant Designer

Sophie Moniram +

Assistant Director

Pete Maxey +

Technical Assistant

Emma Hayward +

Set Builder

Duncan Morris +

Scenic Artist

Rachel Rieley +

Stage Manager

Michael Ager +

Production Manager

Hazel Holder +

Dialect Coach

Charlotte Sutton +

Casting Director

Richard Hammarton +

Sound Designer

Lee Curran +

Lighting Designer

Elayce Ismail +

Director - Chorus

Theatre credits include: War Horse (National Theatre/West End), Joe Guy (New Wolsey/Soho Theatre), Don Juan in Soho (Donmar Warehouse), The Exonerated (Riverside Studios/Dublin Festival).
Television credits include: Doctors, MI High, Doctor Who, Roger Roger III (BBC), Hacks, Outnumbered (Hat Trick), Strike Back 2 (Left Bank Pictures), Victoria Wood Christmas Special (Phil McIntyre Television), The Bill, Casualty (TalkBack Thames), Dubplate TV (Channel 4), The Hidden City (Hallmark).
Film credits include: Flyboys (Electric Ent.), Animal (Animal Productions), Sahara (Sahara Productions), Welcome Home (Wega Film), Love, Actually (Richard Curtis)
Joan Iyiola returns to the theatre to play Bessie - she previously appeared in The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco. Her theatre credits include The White Devil, The Arden of Faversham, The Roaring Girl, The Life of Galileo, Boris Godunov, The Orphan of Zhao (RSC), A Season in the Congo (Young Vic), Holiday (Bush Theatre), 24 Hour Plays (Old Vic), His Spirits Hear Me (Kevin Spacey Foundation, New York), and Toilet (Southwark Playhouse).
Kurt graduated from Guildhall in 2011. He won the Spotlight Prize in 2010 and was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award, for the best classical stage performance by an actor under 30.
Theatre Credits Include: Richard III (The Belasco Theatre), Twelfth Night (The Belasco Theatre), Season in the Congo (Young Vic Theatre), Berenice (Donmar Warehouse), Henry V (Shakespeare’s Globe), Earthquakes in London (Headlong), King Lear and The Frontline (Both Shakespeare’s Globe).
Upcoming Film Credits: Pan and Beasts of No Nation.
Film Credits Include: Kill Your Friends and Skyfall.
Theatre Credits Include: Banksy: The Room in the Elephant (Tobacco Factory), You Know Who You Are (Talawa Theatre), Banksy: The Room in the Elephant (Edinburgh and Tour), Blue Remembered Hills (Chichester Festival), Sucker Punch (Royal Court), Family Man (Stratford East), Top Dog Under Dog (Sheffield Crucible), The Memory of Water (Watford Palace Theatre), Generations of the Dead in the Abyss of Coney Island Madness (Contact Theatre), Ticker Tape And V Signs (7:84 Theatre Co), Welcome Home Jacko (BTC New York), Moby Dick (Royal Exchange Manchester), God’s Second in Command (Royal Court), Alterations (Stratford East), Club Mix (Riverside Studios) and Black Poppies (National Studio).
Television Credits Include: The Interceptor, Doctors, Common Ground, Crime Stories, Hustle, Casualty, Kerrching, Little Britain, Holby City, Eastenders, Family Affairs, The Bill, Absolutely Fabulous, Born to Run, Glam Metal Detectives, Shall I Be Mother, Murphy’s Mob, Lenny Henry Show, Honeymoon, Just Like Mohicans, Club Mix, Radical Chambers, I Love Keith Allen, Making Out, Crying Game, Wail of the Banshee, Space Virgins From Planet Sex Queen of the Wild and The Detectives.
Upcoming Film Credits: In the Heart of the Sea
Film Credits Include: Cockneys Vs Zombies, Til Death Do Us Part, Wit, The Imitators, Driven, Memoirs of a Survivor, Fords on Water, Absolute Beginners, Playing Away, Cresta Run and White Mischief.
Anna studied at Somerville College, University of Oxford. Whilst a student she designed more than fifteen productions including four at the Oxford Playhouse (A Streetcar Named Desire, The Seagull, The Hothouse and The Picture of Dorian Gray) as well as designing the Thelma Holt international Shakespeare Tour twice. This was performed in Oxford, Stratford upon Avon, the Southwark Playhouse and The Mill Studio, Guildford, before touring three theatres in Japan. Since graduating she has worked in both Theatre and Film. 
Recent theatre credits include set and costume design for 'Obamaology' at the Finborough Theatre, costume design for 'Rachel', also at the Finborough, set design for 'The Sorcerer' at the Buxton Opera House, set and costume design for 'Bound', a devised piece of theatre tackling human trafficking at the Pegasus Theatre, and a new adaptation of Ibsen's 'Ghosts' at the Greenwich Theatre. 
She has also worked as costume assistant on a number of productions including the Dorfman Opening Gala Performance at the National Theatre, 'Ace of Clubs' at the Southwark Theatre, 'The Hotel Plays' at the Langham Hotel and 'The Keepers of Infinite Space' at the Park Theatre. 
Her work in film includes production designing a number of short films including 'The Wishing Horse', featuring Richard. E. Grant, winner of best film in the Portobello film festival. 

She is also a regular member of the costume team for Secret Cinema and has helped costume their last eight productions including 'Back to the Future', 'Secret Cinema 21: Miller's Crossing' and the British preview of 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'.
Sophie Moniram is a graduate from Mountview Academy’s Theatre Directing MA. Directing credits include The Five Stages of Waiting by Caro Dixey, (Tristan Bates Theatre in association with Greenwich Theatre), F**king Outside the Box by Jessica Burgess, (The Vaults), Indian Summer by Lucy Maurice, (White Bear Theatre), Creditors by August Strindberg in a version by David Greig, (The Cockpit Theatre), The Star- Spangled Girl by Neil Simon, (Karamel Club), Purgatorio by Ariel Dorfman, (Karamel Club), Breaking 30’s Halloween Cabaret, musical director: Collin Sell, (Worlds End Studios) and Brahman/i by Aditi Brennan Kapil, co-director, (RADA: John Gielgud Theatre).

She has directed new writing for companies including Writer’s Avenue at Soho Theatre, Heavy Weather at Park Theatre, Writer’s Bloc at Charring Cross Theatre and for Rapid Write Response at Theatre 503. She is currently directing a bilingual production of The Lark by Jean Anouilh including translation by Christopher Fry, (The Cockpit Theatre and The Rose Playhouse). 
Michael is a Freelance Theatre Production Manager. He previously worked at the Young Vic Theatre as Technician and Production Manager for the Taking Part Department (2007 – 2013), where he production managed numerous projects with Young People, Schools, Local Community and Young Directors in the Clare and Maria Theatres.

Previous productions at The Gate: The Edge of Our Bodies; The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco.

Recent productions include: Man (Young Vic); Flat Stanley (Engine House); Who Do We Think We Are? (Visible Ensemble); The Saints and The Best Christmas Present in the World (Nuffield Playing Field, Southampton); In Lambeth (Spell Bound Productions); Debris (Open Works); The Cutting of the Cloth, London Wall and What The Women Did (Two's Company Productions); Tutto Bene Mama, The Last Yankee and Ignis (The Print Room); Donny's Brain, Godchild, Fault Lines, The Blackest Black and In The Vale of Health (Hampstead Theatre); Early Days (Of a Better Nation) (for Coney at Battersea Arts Centre, Warwick Arts Centre & Frascati Theater Amstersam). 
As a performer, her theatre credits include: Here We GoAs You Like ItMedeaDeath and the King’s Horseman (National Theatre); The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company); The Bakkhai (Almeida Theatre); Dart’s Love (Tete-aTete Opera Festival); Zero (Clod Ensemble); Tamba Tamba (Tiata Fahodzi); Dalston Songs (ROH2 for Royal Opera House and Helen Chadwick Song Theatre); The Bacchae (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); Six Characters in Search of an Author (Headlong); The Bacchae (National Theatre of Scotland, national tour and on Broadway); Fingerprint (ROH2 for Royal Opera House and The Shout); Mercy Fine in Mercy Fine (Clean Break); The Sleeping Beauty (Young Vic, Barbican and on Broadway); and Carmen Jones and Ain’t Misbehavin’ (WestEnd).

As a Voice & Dialect Coach. her credits include: Les Blancs and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (National Theatre), RADA, Arts Ed, Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, F*ck The Polar Bears (Bush Theatre); The Rolling Stone (Orange Tree Theatre and the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); Eclipsed and The Rise & Shine of Comrade Fiasco (Gate Theatre); The Initiate (Paines Plough).

TV credits include: Judge John Deed and The Cambridge Spies. Short Films include: DatesThe Followed. Radio includes: Something UnderstoodDeath and the King’s Horseman.
Theatre Credits Include :
GRIMM TALES 2 (Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf), BEACHED (Marlowe Theatre/Soho Theatre), GHOST FROM A PERFECT PLACE (Arcola), THE CRUCIBLE (Old Vic), DEALER’S CHOICE (Royal and Derngate), KINGSTON 14 (Theatre Royal Stratford East), A NUMBER (Nuffield Theatre)
FAULT LINES (Hampstead Theatre Downstairs), EARLY DAYS (OF A BETTER NATION) (Battersea Arts Centre), SIZWE BANSI IS DEAD (Young Vic/UK Tour), CHEESE (Fanshen Theatre), AN INSPECTOR CALLS (Theatre by the Lake), BRILLIANT ADVENTURES (Manchester Royal Exchange), WHAT HAPPENS IN THE WINTER (Upswing), BANDAGES (TEG Productions), I KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT EVE (Hampstead Downstairs), THE LAST SUMMER (Gate Theatre, Dublin), MUDLARKS (Hightide Festival/Theatre 503/The Bush), THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (Shakespeare’s Globe), THE PITCHFORK DISNEY (Arcola), JUDGEMENT DAY (The Print Room), SAME SAME, LITTLE BABY JESUS, FIXER (Oval House), EDWARD II, DR FAUSTUS ( Winner of MEN “Best Design” Award ) (Manchester Royal Exchange), PERSUASION, THE CONSTANT WIFE, LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, THE REAL THING, PEOPLE AT SEA (Salisbury Playhouse), PLATFORM (Old Vic Tunnels), GHOSTS (Duchess), PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Bath Theatre Royal/National Tour), SPEAKING IN TONGUES (Duke of Yorks), THE MOUNTAINTOP (Theatre 503, Trafalgar 1), Winner of Olivier for “Best New Play” , THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE (Harrogate), A RAISIN IN THE SUN (Lyric Hammersmith and Tour), THE SHOOKY, DEALERS CHOICE (Birmingham Rep), HELLO AND GOODBYE, SOME KIND OF BLISS (Trafalgar 2), SIX CHARACTERS LOOKING FOR AN AUTHOR (Young Vic)
BREAKFAST WITH MUGABE (Ustinov, Bath Theatre Royal), SOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER ME (Theatre Royal, Northampton), INCHES APART , NATURAL SELECTION, SALT MEETS WOUND, SHIP OF FOOLS (Theatre 503), Steve Nallons Christmas Carol (The Door, Birmingham Rep)
BLOWING (National Tour, Fanshen Theatre)
Film and Television:
RIPPER STREET Series 1 and 2 (BBC) Additional music, AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MARPLE: THE SECRET OF CHIMNEYS (ITV) Additional Music, AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MARPLE Series 4 (ITV) Additional Music, AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MARPLE Series 3 (ITV) Additional Music, NO WIN NO FEE (BBC), SEX ‘N’ DEATH (BBC), WIPEOUT (BBC), THE SHIP (BBC) Five Tracks for the accompanying Soundtrack Album, THE PIER (Short Film) Dir: Craig Singer, FIRST THE WORST (Short Film), Dir. Bevan Walsh, RAPTURED (Red On Black Productions) Web Series, A NEUTRAL CORNER (Magic Eye Productions) 2006
Winner Kodak “Best Short” Award, KONIGSSPITZ, K2, THE FISHERMAN’S WIFE (Discovery Channel) Shorts, SNOW, THE BUTTON (Magic Eye Productions) Short films
Orchestration Work:

Interactive/Digital :
FOUNDLING MUSEUM (The Foundling Museum, London) Sound Installation, MOORE OUTSIDE (Tate Britain/Coney) Headphone based interactive pieces, 
YOU SHALL GO TO THE BALL (Royal Opera House) Online Interactive campaign, LIGHT (BAC) Interactive Installation
For The Gate: Unbroken
Other theatre includes: Constellations (New York/West End/Royal Court- Olivier nomination ‘Best Lighting Designer’); Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Blindsided (Royal Exchange Manchester); Love’s Sacrifice, Arden of Faversham (Royal Shakespeare Company); Mametz (NT Wales); Protest Song (National Theatre, Shed); A Number (Nuffield); The Jungle Book (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Regeneration and Dancing at Lughnasa (Northampton); The Sacred Flame (ETT/Rose Kingston) and Clytemnestra (Sherman Cymru).
Dance credits include Sun, Political Mother, The Art of Not Looking Back, In Your Rooms, Uprising for Hofesh Shechter, and work with Rambert, Alexander Whitley, Liz Roche, James Cousins, Rafael Bonachela,  Jonzi D, and Candoco.

Opera credits include Nabucco (Opera National de Lorraine) and Ottone, Life On The Moon (English Touring Opera).
Paul Jellis is a producer who mostly works in new writing. He is Executive Producer for the award-winning and internationally acclaimed new writing company nabokov, recently producing SYMPHONY by Ella Hickson, Nick Payne and Tom Wells at Edinburgh Fringe, Birmingham Rep and Soho Theatre, INCOGNITO by Nick Payne at HighTide Festival, Live Theatre and The Bush, and the New York transfer of BLINK by Phil Porter with Soho Theatre. nabokov are an associate company of Watford Palace Theatre and Soho Theatre, and have produced work all over the UK and on 3 continents.
Paul is also a founder of the interactive, site specific and immersive theatre company Bad Physics and has produced all of their work to date. Bad Physics have made work with a wide variety of theatres, institutions, venues and companies including Manchester Royal Exchange, Mercury Theatre Colchester, Latitude Festival, Southwark Playhouse, HighTide Festival, BAC, Royal Horticultural Society, Clerkenwell Design Week, Ray Ban and Courvoisier.
Paul also works widely in a freelance capacity, most recently producing the UK Première of BEACHED by Melissa Bubnic with the Marlowe Theatre, which transferred to Soho Theatre, and is returning to The Gate following his production of the UK Première of GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES by Rajiv Joseph in 2013.

Elayce Ismail was awarded the JP Morgan Award for Emerging Directors 2014/2015, under which she was Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio and directed Andrew Whaley’s The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco at the Gate Theatre. She was co-founder/Artistic Director of Offstage Theatre from 2005 – 2009 and trained at LISPA.
Direction includes: The Iphigenia Quartet, The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco (Gate Theatre); Schools Theatre Production, Simpatico (Young Vic); The Lost Ring (NT/Deutsches Theater Berlin); Treasure Island: Making a Scene, Alfred Fagon Award: GIRLS, Black Plays Series readings (NT); Struggle (Talawa Firsts, London & Bristol Somali Festivals); Bed & Breakfast (Brighton Fringe Festival & tour).
Associate/assistant direction: The Virtues of Things (Royal Opera House); The Sound of Yellow, A Season in the Congo (Young Vic); Coming Home (Arcola Theatre).
Puppetry: Dr Korczak’s Example (Unicorn Theatre); Fast Burn (Kneehigh/NYT).
Performance: The Magic Flute (Complicite/ENO); Ring-a-Ding-Ding (Oily Cart); In A Pickle, (Oily Cart/RSC).

Elayce will be directing Chorus for The Iphigenia Quartet

Andrew Whaley was in the forefront of post-independent Zimbabwean dramatists, with plays like The Nyoka Tree, Platform 5, and Fiasco, as well as multi-media performances like Human Tales, Meteoric Trails, and screenplays: Yellow Card, More Time, Everyone’s Child. After moving to South Africa in 2001 he developed radio and television drama all over Africa including the hugely popular Swahili series, Siri ya Mtungi, and co-produced an African football documentary, Black Stars: An African Odyssey for Channel 4, UK. The BBC broadcast his plays, Great Escape and Banished: Mugabe of Zimbabwe. He directed There Is No Canaan On Earth for BBC Spice Taxi. He wrote a book on South African pop diva, Brenda Fassie, and co-authored The Vuvuzela Revolution: Anatomy of South Africa’s 2010 World Cup.

Fiasco was first performed in Harare in March 1990. The play won an Edinburgh Festival Fringe First that year. It was published by Anvil Books, and then Methuen in its first anthology of contemporary African theatre.

26 February – 21 March

A co-production between Paul Jellis and the Gate Theatre, in association with the National Theatre Studio: The JP Morgan Award for Emerging Directors production.

The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco

Book Tickets

Box office: 020 7229 0706

Key dates

£10 Gatecrasher dates
  • Thu 26 Feb, 7.30pm 
    Fri 27 Feb, 7.30pm
    Sat 28 Feb, 7.30pm
    Tue 3 Mar, 7.30pm 
    Sat 7 Mar, 3pm 
    Sat 14 Mar, 3pm 
    Wed 18 Mar, 3pm 
    Sat 21 Mar, 3pm 

Press night
  • Mon 2 Mar, 7pm  

Captioned Performance
  • Thu 12 Mar, 7.30pm