This page relates 2018 VAULT festival production - Pleasance Theatre transfer and national tour.

For 2019 Fringe production see Bismillah! 2019. For the 2015 Development Fringe production see Bismillah!  2015.

Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy



This is the 2018 production following the shows Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award listed run in 2015  run. This award winning show enjoyed enjoyed development at London's Theatre Royal Stratford East (2016/17) before going on to a sold out, critically acclaimed 2018 VAULT Festival run. This in turn lead to the show transferring to a professional three week Off-West End run at the prestigious Pleasance Theatre in London Islington (April/May 2018). Here the show opened the venues brand new Pleasance Downstairs space.

September and October 2018 saw Bismillah! embark on a 20 date National Tour aroudn the UK.

Calling at Harrogate, London, Sheffield, Newcastle, Stantonbury, Chelmsford, Birmingham, Kent, Clevedon and Litchfield.


It is now being performed at the Edinburgh Festival at The Underbelly on Cowgate in 2019. You can read about this production HERE. 

Reviews for this production:


★★★★★ "A black comedy of the highest order."

- The Reviews Hub

★★★★★"Side-splitting and touching... One of the best shows I have ever seen." -BroadwayBaby 

★★★★★ "Brilliantly acted, lots of funnies" - Hiive

★★★★★ "a shining example of how theatre can educate, evoke empathy and open the minds of its audience on a complex and heartbreaking subject matter." - 

The Live Review

★★★★★"A number of complex socio-political debates are touched upon with sensitivity and nuance, even between the dick jokes"- Theatre Box 

★★★★ "a wonderfully sympathetic piece of writing, brimming with insight, humour and humanity."

The Stage

★★★★ "Sharply written and mesmerisingly performed... Powerful, hilarious and gripping."

The List

★★★★"Incredibly current and important."

The Spy in the Stalls 

★★★★" "a totally surprising piece of theatre... a wicked sense of humour... a powerful, deep and meaningful play that really makes you think."  - LondonTheatre1

★★★★ "awe-inspiring dialogue" - The Upcoming

★★★★ "Never before have I been gripped so much in 75 minutes watching a conversation between two people" - Rewrite This Story

Reviews for this production:

Tour Poster and Trailer for Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy


Dean joined the Army, 'Danny' joined the Islamic State. One’s from Leeds, the other's from London.

Brought together in a holding cell in Northern Iraq, as captive and volatile guard. They discuss the North/South divide, reminisce about dead-end jobs they couldn't escape, lampoon the outrageous ever increasing price of a standard airport meal deal - all the while circling an awful terrifying truth – that both of them just want to go home.

Bismillah! is a hilarious, heart-breaking and compassionate contribution to the vital discussion around the experiences of disenfranchised young people in modern Britain.

The show has enjoyed an enormous amount critical and audience praise aswell as the support of the academic community. Particularly Dr Sarah Ilott, lecturer in literature and film at Manchester Metropolitan University. author of New Postcolonial British Genres and the editor of Mock the Weak: Comedy and the Politics of Representation. She invited the writer Matthew Greenhough to speak at the Mock the Weak  Academic conference in 2017. We returned the favour by having her host a post show talk at the VAULT Festival entitled -  Taking the terror out of Terrorism. We also worked closely with Dr Fahid Qurashi, Ph.D. and Lecturer in Sociology Staffordshire University, who's worked has explored radicalisation who advised and helped develop the project. British journalist Sean Langan, who was held hostage by the Taliban for 12 weeks in 2008, also praised Bismillah! as reflecting his own experience of imprisonment.

Creative Team

Written and Performed by Matthew Greenhough

also Starring Elliot Liburd

Directed and Developed by Jonny Kelly

Produced by Sofi Berenger

Assistant Director,  Rob Ellis

Stage Manager, Beth Pratt

Designer, Libby Todd

Lighting Designer, Ben Jacobs

Sound Designer, Gareth McLeod

Fight Coordinator, Kieran E Sim

Traditionally subversive, seriously comical. 

© 2019 by Wound Up Theatre.

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