I Wanna Be Yours is a funny, lyrical, and tender play about the intricacies and complexities of finding love and the difficulties of holding onto it once found.
A debut play for one of the London Poet Laureates, Zia Ahmed, this touring production, coming to the East Riding Theatre on Saturday 16th November is grown from the internationally acclaimed theatre company, Paines Plough.
One of the play’s young lovers, Ella, is a struggling actor from Yorkshire’s deepest dales who now lives in London and during a performance, the workshop meets her romantic lead, Haseeb, a similarly positioned struggling poet hailing from North West London.
The young artists inevitably fall in love but as their relationship develops the cracks begin to form and seep into the foundations of their love: Haseeb is a Muslim, frequently subject to racism and islamophobia throughout the play; Ella’s old-fashioned family have strong views and feelings about the responsibility that somewhat unsettle Haseeb.
Ella does not entirely feel accepted by Haseeb’s family. Paralleled with their budding love are the differences in their cultural backgrounds alongside the unavoidable, underlying tensions that come with being young, in love, and trying to make a living in London – particularly if your roots are pulling you elsewhere.
This debut play, I Wanna Be Yours, provides a new voice in an exploration of romantic love, understanding, patience, empathy, and the struggle that Ella and Haseeb must embark upon in order to chart a way for their love to survive.
The emerging playwright, Zia Ahmed, is a poet from London and has performed his work to thousands, including a TED talk, a feature in a song, Bol, by Sarathy Korwar, festivals like Shambala in 2019, and continuously appears at countless poetry events.
He was shortlisted for Young Poet Laureate is a former Roundhouse Poetry Slam champion and was the Channel 4 Playwright in Residence for Paines Plough in 2017. His work often circulates around themes of love and the complexities of familial ties.