Interview with Dana Haqjoo and Houda Echouafni

Interview with Dana Haqjoo and Houda Echouafni

Read our interview with Dana and Houda who play new husband and wife Ashraf and Yasmin in our hilarious new comedy Habibti Driver.

Relationships are put to the test when Ashraf introduces Yasmin, his new bride, to his family in this heart-warming comedy that explores the clashes, compromises and comedy that come with living in a mixed-culture family in today's Britain.

Find out more about the show from Dana Haqjoo and Houda Echouafni who play Ashraf and Yasmin in this world premiere production.

Tell us a little bit about your character.

DH: Ashraf is, at heart, a family man who tries his best. His best isn’t always good enough but he has a heart of gold. He just wants to keep the peace and takes the path of least resistance in most situations. He’s a people pleaser. He spins the plates in all his relationships which means there’s usually a conflict of some description around the corner!

HE: Yasmin is Ashraf’s new wife, fresh off the plane from Egypt. She is intent on building a new life in England and immersing herself in everything British, highly ambitious. Family is very important to her.

Dana Haqjoo (Image Credit Colin J Smith)

What interested you about this role?

DH: Ashraf is a joy to play - he’s written in such a great way offering the chance to be funny and dramatic in equal measure.

HE: It’s not often I come across a character like this, Yasmin doesn’t fall into any of the stereotypes of a Muslim or Arab woman, she is surprising and has such freshness and such energy that I found really delicious.

Houda Echouafni (Image Credit Colin J Smith)

Why should audiences come and watch Habibti Driver?

DH: Although it’s billed as a clash of cultures, in essence it’s a story of family which all audiences can connect with. Come and laugh, be shocked and maybe cry!

HE: It’s a warm comedy about family and trying to be good, whatever that may mean.

What are you most excited about for the performance?

DH: As a team, we were geared up to put this on pre-pandemic. The last 2 years’ delay has just boosted our eagerness to tell the story! The excitement is partly our creative pleasure in bringing the words on the page to life!

HE: I am so excited to hear the audiences reaction to the play, we have been laughing so much in rehearsals and can’t wait to share the joy.

Describe Habibti Driver in 3 words.

DH: Family. Dilemmas. Dreams.

HE: Warm, funny and joyous.

Habibti Driver opens from Thu 21 April - Sat 7 May!