Meet Ashraf and his ‘Habibti’ – his daughter Shazia. He’s an Egyptian, Muslim taxi driver; she’s half-Egyptian, half-Wiganese, and more interested in the last call at the bar than the call to prayer.
Their relationship is put to the test when Ashraf introduces Shazia to his new Egyptian bride, whilst she is attempting to break the news of her own secret engagement. In Ashraf’s taxi they must navigate driving lessons, sing karaoke and explore whether, despite their differences, family can win out regardless.
Habibti Driver is a heartwarming and hilarious play, based on Shamia Chalabi’s real-life experiences and co-written with Sarah Henley, exploring the clashes, compromises and comedy that come with living in a mixed-culture family in today’s Britain.
First performed in an earlier version – Burkas and Bacon Butties – at the VAULT Festival, London, this revised, full-length version premiered at the Octagon Theatre Bolton in April 2022, co-produced with Tara Finney Productions.
‘A delight… real heart and real laughs… Habibti Driver will connect with every audience member regardless of their background’
— Bolton News
‘An endearing comedy that negotiates the minefield of political and religious sensitivities with skill’
— Reviews Hub
‘An unapologetically camp comedy with plenty of personality’
— Manchester Evening News
‘A heart-warming, quick witted and intelligent play that will leave you wanting more’
‘Warm-hearted and funny… brims with authentic detail’
— The Stage