The Arrival
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The Arrival

3.3 (3) · New Writing

I’ve spent so much of my life wondering…passing people on the street…and now, yeah…this.

“This is the debut play by Bijan Sheibani, the brilliant director behind The Barbershop Chronicles (NT & World Tour), Dance Nation (Almeida) and The Brothers Size (Young Vic). His first pieces as a playwright has had some excellent reviews from critics. Time Out called it "achingly bittersweet" and our own Lyn Gardner described it as an "astonishing, tender debut"”
Lyn Gardner avatar
14 November 2019  ·  Follow on Stagedoor
“Bijan Sheibani’s astonishing, tender debut play contains some mind-blowing movement sequences and comes to a head in a scene so vivid it makes you hold your breath. Irfan Shamji and Scott Karim carry the weight of this family drama with real nimbleness in two terrific, finely attuned performances.”


When Tom meets Samad it’s like he’s coming face to face with himself. They have the same gestures, the same instincts…even the same handwriting. It’s as if a lifetime of questions can now be answered, as if all that that was missing is now found.

But as they get closer, and their lives become more entangled, the insurmountable truth of their past threatens to bring everything crashing to the ground.

The Arrival is a taut family drama about missed connections and those ties that bind too tightly. About the pain of finding – and losing – something you never had. A debut play by Olivier Award-winning theatre director Bijan Sheibani (The Brothers Size, Barber Shop Chronicles, Dance Nation).

Critic reviews

Sheibani’s pacing is perfect, almost methodical

The Upcoming

Fraternal reunion pits nature against nurture

The Guardian

Bijan Sheibani's stylish, if sedate, production of his own play about brothers reunited

The Stage

Every plot point is neatly unveiled with assured timing and precision, culminating in a gripping, harrowing exploration of family


Great stuff excellently performed

The Arts Desk

Bijan Sheibani’s astonishing, tender debut play contains some mind-blowing movement sequences and two terrific, finely attuned performances

Lyn Gardner for Stagedoor

An achingly bittersweet play about two brothers. Stylishly directed enlivened by killer sound and intensive aerobic movement

Time Out

This is emotional and important work, and a story that is told with such a beautiful depth and clarity in its intention

Broadway World

This promising debut is a short, sharp shock

The Telegraph

Sheibani’s debut is a bracing and heart rending story and about the loyalties owed to our blood

A Younger Theatre

Date & time

Show ended
Thu 21 Nov - Sat 18 Jan, 2.30pm & 7.30pm


7 Uxbridge Road London W12 8LJ London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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