By Luisa De la Concha Montes
RAH is a play written and carried out by Laila Latifa. Set within the bed room of Manal, a half-Moroccan, half-British girl in her early twenties, the play bravely depicts a historical past of belonging. Structured as a monologue, the script explores Manal’s inside ramblings, exposing the reality about her household, her emotions of inadequacy at college, and her difficulties navigating her intercourse life throughout the context of an overtly spiritual household.
The primary impression is considered one of intimacy. Manal’s bed room is peppered with an array of parts that reference her combined id. We see a Twilight poster, a Sports activities Direct mug and a tajine dish, amongst different private objects. Midway by the present, Manal adjustments from her hoodie to her abaya. This signifies her preparation she has to undergo to fulfill her household, but additionally makes a stark level in regards to the bodily and performative nature of id.
Tonally, the play jumps between comedy and critical remarks. At instances the transitions really feel clumsy and jarring, as they don’t present sufficient respiration house for the viewers to digest Manal’s emotional turmoil. Nonetheless, Latifa’s presence and charisma that primarily thrive throughout the comedic intermissions, mixed with the conversational format of the play, successfully create a way of camaraderie between performer and viewers. The script is filled with robust intermissions that discover complicated matters comparable to consuming problems, abuse and spiritual trauma. But, at instances it feels too bold for its personal good, because it packs a whole lot of discourse in too little time. This causes it to lose focus and impression. The purpose of the play additionally feels a bit fragmented, because it wasn’t clear who Manal was speaking to. Was it her white boyfriend? Her father? The (assumed) British viewers? By making an attempt to confront the pains of alienation with out having a transparent recipient, the play finally ends up feeling like a tirade somewhat than the legitimate denunciation that it truly is.
All through the play, it’s evident that the entire story is propelled by anger, nevertheless the writing feels withdrawn, nearly afraid of that anger. I left wishing Manal’s character would correctly launch herself into the anger, as that is what makes the story so distinctive and mandatory.
RAH runs by 8 April at The Hope Theatre.
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