Wanstead hosts world premiere of Springsteen-inspired play

PUBLISHED: 13:03 05 July 2012 | UPDATED: 13:03 05 July 2012

Sarfraz Manzoor

Sarfraz Manzoor


Wanstead is hosting the world premiere of a new one-man play by journalist and author Sarfraz Manzoor.

The Boss Rules – How Bruce Springsteen Changed My Life offers a humorous take on Sarfraz’s own experiences of race, religion and rock and roll growing up in 80s Luton.

The 41-year-old, who now lives in Hackney with his wife and 10-month-old daughter, moved to England from Pakistan when he was two.

The play, premiering at Wanstead Library before its 23-show test run at Edinburugh Fringe, is Sarfraz’s first attempt at the genre.

It is based on his autobiographical book Greetings from Bury Park.

Sarfraz is best known for his work in The Guardian and on BBC Radio 4.

He said: I’m slightly nervous in the sense that I’m having to do something completely new.

“I’m not a comedian, I feel like I’m slightly stepping out of my comfort zone.

“But I thought rather than doing a straight reading, why not do something to get to tell stories about life and interact with the audience?”

Sarfraz is the only performer in the show, and invites the audience to share their own dilemmas and opinions.

He said he used Bruce Springsteen’s songs as a way of telling stories and understanding his experiences.

He added: “You don’t have to be a fan or event know his music to relate to the show.

“It’s completely autobiographical but it’s not just about me.”

Themes include fatherhood, children, religion and culture. Sarfraz admits to being slightly nervous about the show’s reception.

He said: “If it goes well, I have got a new string to my bow and if it goes badly I’m going to have a terrible month.”

The Boss Rules – How Bruce Springsteen Changed My Life, Tuesday July 10, 7.30pm at Wanstead Library.

Tickets £5 on the door or from Wanstead Library 020 8708 7400 or Newham Bookshop 020 8552 9993.

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