Ayub Khan Din’s hilarious domestic comedy, East is East, is coming to the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre next week.

The semi-autobiographical story focuses on Pakistani chip-shop owner George Khan - "Genghis" to his kids - who is determined to give his children a strict Muslim upbringing against the unforgiving backdrop of 1970s Salford.

Household tension reaches breaking point as their long-suffering English mother, Ella, gets caught in the cross fire, with her loyalties divided between her marriage and the free will of her children.

After her ‘wonderful’ experience starring at Shakespeare’s Globe in The Knight of the Burning Pestle alongside Phil Daniels, award-winning actress Pauline McLynn is taking on the role of Ella.

Perhaps best known for playing Mrs Doyle in Father Ted and Yvonne Cotton in Eastenders, Pauline is relishing the challenge of her new role.

Pauline said: “I’m delighted to be cast in East is East, playing a lady from Salford, although she is of Irish extraction, or so we have just decided.

“I’m getting a chance to show a bit of versatility. I like to play lots of different characters and not do the Irish thing all the time, much as I love it.”

So what drew Pauline to her character?

“It’s such a great part for a woman of a certain age and there are not many of these about. I think that the ratio of male roles to female roles is about seven to one.

“I also wanted to work with Sam Yates, the director of this production. I hadn’t met him but I heard that he was a hot property which interested me.

“I also think that East is East is a great show, a brilliantly well-made play which gives the audience a great night out. There are plenty of laughs but there are also moments when the audience will gasp at what they see.

“It’s very much an emotional roller-coaster for those who come to the show and they certainly get plenty of bang for their buck. To an extent, the play bamboozles the audience and I can’t wait to get the show on the road and in front of the public.”

And Pauline believes everyone will be able to relate to the family issues raised in the show, which also stars Simon Nagra as George Khan, Adam Karim as Sajit, Assad Zaman as Saleem, Dharmesh Patel as Abdul and Salma Hoque as Meenah Khan.

“Everybody who has grown up in a family will recognise the rough-and-tumble of home life which East is East captures so well. It shows us the tensions that exist whenever a group of people, families or non-families are thrown together and you see the bad behaviour which results.

“Take my two younger brothers. They still treat me as if I were the family eejit and they were still calling me names such as hook-nose and verruca-head. But you can say such terrible, cruel things to your siblings because you’re all part of the same family.”

The play, set in the early 1970s, was an important time for the immigrant community for a number of reasons.

“I think they must have been one of the few Asian families to settle in Salford. Most people arriving from Pakistan would have made for Yorkshire and towns such as Bradford. Mixed marriages were very unusual and I understand that Ayub’s mother suffered a lot of racist and sexist abuse because she’d married a Pakistani.

“It is also the time when multi-culturalism was beginning to have an impact in Britain and we are still exploring the consequences of that development today.”

Ella’s husband George is perhaps an abrasive character, but Pauline believes that there may be a reason for that.

“He is a proud man. And he has also reached the age when your roots, where you come from, become more important to you. Perhaps this is why he insists on the family following the traditional customs and agreeing to an arranged marriage.

“The children are beginning to leave home because of the pressure and Ella is fighting to keep the family together. But she is pulled in two directions- between her love for her husband and her maternal love for her children. Ella eventually decides to make a stand, an act that has brutal consequences.

“The play ends with unresolved problems still to be faced.”

East is East comes to the Aylesbury Waterside from 22 to 27 June. Tickets range from £10 to £34 when booked in person at the Box Office, or £11.90 to £36.90 when booked online or over the phone. Visit www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury or call 0844 871 7607.