Southwark Playhouse (venue)
13 March 2022 (released)
14 March 2022
There are times when theatre has the opportunity to shine a light to the plight of its subject. This is one such occasion. This hugely enjoyable and funny master-class of physical theatre, and the spoken word is a delight from start to finish.
PYCHEdelight is a leading creator of theatre made by refugees. Here they have taken Mohand Hasb Alrosol Abdalrahem's endearing recollections and passion for his homeland of Sudan, and lovingly explored it using comedy and poetry. There are moments that are some of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. Then next minute it switches to moving moments, such as the wonderfully lit near drowning in Nile.
The two performers are a joy to watch and their real friendship shines through. Mohand's face, a beaming smile full of sunshine leads Peter Pearson's eager Geordie on an imaginary, but transformative adventure. They embody various methods of transport, a cow, a pair of cud chewing camels and even a pyramid. Then to top it all, there is the scene where Mohand embodies several of his immediate family which has the audience in fits of laughter. What is totally engaging is the clever use of the Sudanese language in that scene . The gesticulations and facial expressions fully portray the meaning so all the audience shares the moments and the humour.
A video that Mohand and Peter created at the start of the rehearsal process went viral and has had over 90,000 views. This is woven into the story to great effect, and made even more delightful in the knowledge that this was a true event.
Sophie Bertrand Besse has done a masterly job of steering the devising and manic storytelling from these two wonderful performers . It's easy to tell how much this play means to the refugees from Sudan from the reception it received on Press Night. If you wanted proof how important and transformative theatre is, this is that production .