Search

Love, Bombs and Apples, Arcola Theatre, review: ‘Powerful, political theatre’

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 June 2016

Love, Bombs and Apples

Love, Bombs and Apples

Archant

The subject matter may be terrorism and the ceaseless conflict between Israel and Palestine, but there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak’s four thought-provoking vignettes.

Though unwaveringly political, the one-man show’s focus is instead on the very human urges of four young men from different corners of the globe, as they navigate the often-threatening world in which they live.

Originally performed at the Arcola’s Shabbak Festival last summer to celebrate contemporary Arab culture, we observe a sex-obsessed Palestinian trying to get laid without being shot by Israeli guards; an accidental terrorist who just wants to write a great novel; a frustrated Islamic fundamentalist who’s as entranced by the Apple store as he is by Isis; and a lapsed Zionist, who wants to spice up his sex life with his Jewish pro-Palestinian girlfriend.

The situations are ripe for black comedy, and Chris Morris’ hilarious film, Black Lions, about hapless British terrorists, sprung to mind.

But what makes the play so powerful is how plausible these stories are.

Young Arab and Jewish men do have to deal with the issues we watch on the news every day; but they’re also normal young men, with the same base desires as the rest of us.This juxtaposition is at the heart of each vignette.

We go from the comical to the heart-wrenching and poignant in an instant, but Abdulrazzak’s deft touch ensures it’s never jolting.

But the play would be nothing without Asif Khan’s powerhouse performance as all four men.

The characters are all so different, but as soon as Khan steps into his next role by simply adjusting his hair and slightly altering his outfit, the audience is transfixed, sucked into another one of these men’s worlds.

Mila Sander’s set design never distracts. Though props for all stories are on stage from the start, somehow with each new story you are instantly transported to The Wall in Palestine, a semi in London, or a New York gym locker room.

A lesson in how to stage powerful, political theatre.

Love, Bombs and Apples is at the Arcola Theatre.

Rating: 4/5 stars

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Entertainment Stories

Friday, January 19, 2018

Since the play’s first outing, representations of the East End have become two-a-penny in mainstream popular culture but director Jessica Lazar doesn’t shy away from tropes that play up caricature and nostalgia

Friday, January 19, 2018

‘Waking’ centres around a single moment: a faint sense of recognition between a man and a woman

Friday, January 19, 2018

On February 2-3 . the annual festival returns, showcasing the best in dance this year

Friday, January 19, 2018

From February 1 to 11, the exhibition will showcase some of the world’s most interesting and revolutionary contemporary collagists, looking at redefining how the art form is expressed

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now