An immersive theatre show inspired by daytime raves of the 90s is coming to Contact

Daytime Deewane, by Azan Ahmed, explores the beauty and struggle of living with a multi-cultural identity as a teenager.

By Emma Davidson | 24 October 2022

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An immersive gig theatre show, Daytime Deewane, inspired by the daytime raves of the 1990s British Asian culture, comes to CONTACT on 22 – 24 November, as part of a UK tour. Written for ages 13+ and adult audiences, it features spoken word with a recorded DJ mix merging soundscapes and dance music. 

The end of an era is approaching. It’s 1997 and London is about to have its last daytime rave. British South Asians flock for their last taste of rebellion. Among them are cousins Farhan and Sadiq. Both very different. Both escaping something. Both trying to decide what it means to be British and Pakistani, a Muslim and a man – and they’ve got until 6pm to figure it out.  

Daytime raves were a cultural phenomenon of the 80s and 90s. Taking place across the UK from London to Bradford, daytime parties were avenues for young people of South Asian descent to dance, drink or even hook up — set to the soundtrack of their own music and on their own terms.  

Daytime Deewane is the latest production from Half Moon, the UK’s leading small-scale young people’s venue and touring company, winner of two Off West End Theatre awards for Best Production for Young People Age 13+ (Crowded and What Once Was Ours). 

The 60-minute story is told by two performers, Omi Mantri (Farhan) and Ryan Rajan Mal (Sadiq). It has direction by Chris Elwell, movement direction by Hamza Ali, design by Maariyah Sharjil, composition and sound design by Somin Griffin-Dave, and assistant direction by Maryam Shaharuddin. 

Daytime Deewane is the first piece of theatre for young audiences by Azan Ahmed. The story came about because he wanted to explore what radical joy looked like through a British Asian perspective. Azan kept coming back to the stories that his dad told him about the daytime raves, when British Asians carved out what it meant to be British and Asian.  

Azan Ahmed said: “Daytime Deewane is about a piece of British history which is often neglected. The daytime raves were a space for pure Brown joy and I wanted to document that through theatre. The play shows that Brown people can shimmy, stomp and slide into genres that they defined. I want young people to realize that their parents might have been cool back in the day. This is a story that could be your uncles, your dads or your aunties and will show what it means to be British Asian.” 

Chris Elwell said: “Daytime Deewane is a compelling and exhilarating piece of new writing for young audiences that navigates what it means to be British, what it means to be Muslim and what it means to be a young man, all in the space of a daytime rave. The immersive style of the production means audiences will become an integral part of the action. It a must watch for teenagers and adults – plus, you get to experience the joy of a daytime rave!” 

Tickets start from £8. 


Daytime Deewane

Date: 22nd – 24th November
Venue: Contact
Time: 7pm
Price: £8+