Monday, 21 September 2015

East isEast

I've somehow missed seeing the film, East is Eastbut I had heard good things about it, and also about the live stage version, which was previously on at Trafalgar Studios in London, which seems to produce consistently good theatre.

So when I saw it was coming to Bath, of course I booked a ticket. And was glad I had.

The play follows the Khan family, George Khan (Simon Nagra), a Pakistani Muslim, his White British Wife Ella (Pauline McLynn) and 6 of their 7 children, living in Salford in the 1970s, and dealing with issues of family and identity, and the strains both impose.

George, despite having lived in the UK for over 30 years, and married an Englishwoman, wants a traditionally dutiful and obedient wife and children, including expecting his children to accept his choices for them for marriage.

It's  frequently very funny,  often disturbing (quite apart from the off-stage exile of his eldest son for refusing an arranged marriage, there is also domestic violence, for instance), and very well-written.

The cast is extremely strong - particularly Adam Karim, as Sajit, who spends most of the play wearing a parka so has to perform from inside a hood, without out being able to see his face.

It was also nice to see a much more diverse audience than usual at the theatre! 

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