In conversation: Henry Naylor

The award-winning playwright discusses his double bill about the Syrian conflict and 1936 Munich Olympics

Games © Rosalind Furlong cropped.jpg

Borders/Games is the new double bill from playwright Henry Naylor, currently playing at London’s Arcola theatre. Borders, he explains, is “the story of the 21st century in 70 minutes – 9/11, bombs, Bono and Bin Laden”. While Games, set in Berlin, 1936, is about “Europe fracturing, antisemitism rising and right-wing populism surging”. Judi Herman, an old friend of Naylor’s from the days when both of them contributed to BBC Radio 4’s topical comedy show Week Ending, caught up with him to discuss his move from comedy to drama. Find out how he was inspired, for his most recent plays, to write about the plight of a contemporary Syrian graffiti artist struggling to use her art to bring down the Assad regime. He pairs her story with that of two promising German Jewish women athletes, who faced horrific prejudice in their bid to compete for their country in the 1936 Olympics.

Photo by Rosalind Furlong

Borders/Games runs until Friday 21 December. 7pm (Mon-Sat), 2.30pm (Sat). £10-£22 (per play). Arcola Theatre, E8 3DL. 020 7503 1646. www.arcolatheatre.com