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Northern Boy

Iqbal Hussain

6 June 2024 All day

Joyful, defiant and dazzling, this is the story of Rafi Aziz – a Northern boy dreaming of his name up in lights.

It’s 1981 in the suburbs of Blackburn and, as Rafi’s mother reminds him daily, the family moved here from Pakistan to give him the best opportunities. But Rafi longs to follow his own path. Flamboyant, dramatic and musically gifted, he wants to be a Bollywood star.

Twenty years later, Rafi is flying home from Australia for his best friend’s wedding. He has everything he ever wanted: starring roles in musical theatre, the perfect boyfriend and freedom from expectation. But returning to Blackburn is the ultimate test: can he show his true self to his community?

Navigating family and identity from boyhood to adulthood, as well as the changing eras of ABBA, skinheads and urbanisation, Rafi must follow his heart to achieve his dreams.

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