Santi & Naz
Under the rumble of the Waterloo train tracks we meet Santi & Naz, two young girls living in India during pre-partition. These best friends are none the wiser to their political situation and with Santi being Sikh and Naz being Muslim, the threat of separation is approaching. When Naz is introduced to her soon to be much older husband, Santi is concerned for her safety and tries to warn her of the dangers of not just this man but of the violence that is happening all around them. In their childhood fashion they create a plan to escape the marriage which ends in disaster.
The play explores friendship, childhood, loyalty and identity against the backdrop of huge political change. The play is wonderfully written by Guleraana Mir and Afshan D’Souza- Lodhi, showing the innocence of children who want to be friends regardless of their religions. Director Madelaine Moore uses every inch of the small space at The Vaults to create a vibrant picture of India. There are so many beautiful references with the music and dancing in the piece which transport the audience to the small village where Santi & Naz grew up. Although this is not a true story, the performances from both Ashna Rabheru and Rose-Marie Christian feel so honest and true, reflecting the lives of many young girls in India during this time. They are able to capture the sweetness of childhood, as well as smoothly transition into young adults showing fear and understanding of what is happening to them. A pure delight. 4/5
Sold follows the true-life story of Mary Prince, a slave sold from master to master. Mary’s story was lost in history until published in 1831, giving a voice to many others who, like her, endured life as a slave. Using song, dance, story-telling, spoken word and drums, this autobiographical piece is told to us with two actors but with the echoes of thousands of stories. As we watch Mary grow from child to young adult to writer, we witness the heart-breaking journey she takes and yet between all the horror she faces, comes out strong and leaving a legacy.
When asking the cast and the director Euton Daley to sum this play up in 3 words, this proves impossible. This show is passion, truth, rhythm, soul, heartache, it’s a journey and in Euton’s words,‘it is telling it like it is’. Both Amantha Edmead and Angie Amra Anderson tell this story in a way that cuts like a knife. The multi-roling makes it seem as through there is a whole ensemble of actors on stage, moving from character to character showing both the cruel masters, and the painful treatment of Mary and other slaves. Edmead’s ability to show joy in happier times in Mary’s life is incredible to watch, switching from fear and pain to strength, showing her connection to the character. With the drums acting like the heart-beat of the piece, Angie is able to show the contrast of traditions and culture against the relentless oppression, making the play even more powerful. An unbelievable piece of honest theatre, not shying away from the truth no matter how hard that may be to see. 4/5
Reviews written by Sarah Wells.
Santi & Naz is currently showing until Sunday 2nd February 2020 at the Vault Festival 2020, to find out more about the production, visit here…
Sold is currently showing until Sunday 2nd February 2020 at the Vault Festival 2020, to find out more about the production, visit here…