16 October 2019 (released)
17 October 2019
A hallmark of an effective play is that it engages you emotionally as you watch it and afterwards brings back images and memories of moments, scenes or lines which prompt reflection. Danusia Samal’s Out of Sorts is a play that creates a growing sense of engagement with the characters and story as the story progresses and leaves you with vivid memories for reflection.
The story is about Zara, a young girl just a few years out of university, who has grown up in the UK and acts and appears like a typical millennial, but who has been brought up in an immigrant/refugee family who are still, more or less, strongly tied to their cultural roots and heritage. Zara is faced with the contradiction of two different sets of values, attitudes and ways of life that she is trying to reconcile within her own identity. On the surface, she seems to be doing this successfully until things start to fall apart.
The story takes place over a weekend in which the tensions and contradictions unfold layer by layer. Zara reveals to her roommate Alice that she’s broken off an engagement with a family-approved prospective partner. In the process, we learn that Zara lies to everyone, including herself, and those lies begin to catch up with her as the action unfolds.
The play is a very timely engagement with the issues of multi-cultural identity and what a difficult struggle this is for the generation that does not necessarily have the actual immigrant experience but lives personally and culturally in relation to it. Zara, played by Nalan Burgess, and Alice her roommate, played by Emma Denly , both give exceptionally engaging performances, but all the cast members form a convincing family ( Myriam Acharki as Zara’s mother, Nayef Rashed as her father, Oznur Cifci as her sister) and Claudius Peters, as Alice’s short-lived romantic interest, creates a strong, authentic voice for that role.