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Posts Tagged ‘Tamasha’

This play is the second in a planned trilogy by Ishy Din about the male immigrant experience. For some reason I missed the well-received first part, Snookered, about Asian men born here, when it visited the Bush Theatre in 2012. This is about Asian men who came here, and I’m very glad I caught this one.

It’s set in Teeside in the days between Margaret Thatcher’s death and her state funeral in 2013. Raf and Mansha used to work in a factory making steel bridges. After it closed, Raf bought a minicab firm and Mansha runs it for him. Mansha’s son-in-law Sully is a driver, Raf’s son Shazad is working there during his University holidays and Raf has recruited Sameena, their first female driver, a feisty ex-con who Sully knows and likes but Mansha doesn’t trust.

Raf decides to sell up, but Mansa doesn’t like the sound of his new boss, so he puts together an offer by remortgaging, bringing in Sully with his recently deceased dad’s industrial disease compensation, but it isn’t enough – until Sameena becomes an unlikely third partner using her own inheritance. Raf demands cash and no paperwork, to avoid the taxman, and leaves them with the business books. Their enthusiasm wanes when the books are examined and they find out the truth about what they’ve bought. It goes from bad to worse when they discover who’s backing Sameena, and why. Friends and relatives are betrayed, generations clash and hands are forced.

The first half set-up was a bit slow, but the second half is terrific as it becomes a multi-layered, cleverly plotted piece that takes its hold on you, helped by six excellent performances and a realistic minicab office setting by Rosa Maggiora. A definite recommendation from me.

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