Review by: Paul Towers, 29 April 2017
Octopus by Afsaneh Gray, directed by Pia Furtado
Paper Tiger Productions and Greenwich Theatre in association with Fine Mess Theatre
Upstairs @ The Western, 29 April 2017
“a dystopian nightmare of racial profiling.”
Imagine Scotland has got independence. Imagine UKIP got their xenophobic way. Imagine we were all liable to be called in to an assessment centre to justify our British-ness. This is the dystopian nightmare that Paper Tiger’s latest production drags us into.
A talented cast of three show us the increasingly warped ‘logic’ behind racial profiling in this socially apocalyptic Britain.
Sara is sort of Asian, an accountant and very sure of her British-ness. She contributes, after all.
Scheharezade is sort of Middle Eastern; actually she’s Iranian but prefers to call herself Persion, “Iran isn’t that popular at the moment”. She’s dyslexic and on benefits while she waits to sell one of her tapestries.
Sarah is white. White as can be. Blue eyed blonde and ditzy. Only it turns out she has a Jamaican grandfather so that makes her quarter black, “I can’t be black. My mother would have told me”
As the three characters’ stories unfold it becomes more and more obvious that being British isn’t as straightforward as we first thought. If we all dig a little under the surface there are many things to dilute that perceived British-ness. But that’s what makes us British, that melting pot.
A very talented cast of Alexandra D'Sa, Dilek Rose, Samara MacLaren bring these characters to life with pathos, neurosis and humour as they battle anxiety and ignorance to discover how un-British their British-ness really is
Although this play is billed as a post Brexit satire it is, thankfully, nothing of the sort.
What it is is a warning of what could be if an idiot like Trump ever got the keys to Number 10
Octopus is touring throughout the country. Full details at www.papertiger.org.uk