See it if you want to see a family from Pakistan living in London grapple with the pains and tensions between assimilation and cultural traditions.
Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with messy, confused, and selfish human beings seeking their place in their society and in their family/culture.
See it if just a great play about a man cast adrift in a life that he may not want because he doesn't really know who he is.
Don't see it if you're bored with discussions about roots, community, religion, identity.
See it if a well written dramatic play about a family of immigrants living in London who are grappling with the effects of Islamophobia.
Don't see it if you are not open to experiencing a well written play about a family of Muslims. Read more
See it if You like theater that challenges you, but does so with wit and without condescension. There is a great play here, though a little long.
Don't see it if You need action, and don’t like exposition. Don’t go if you’re bothered by race, religion, right and wrong, or simply don’t like to think.
See it if You want to see a show where any nationality can be portrayed with the same life problems and aspirations. Excellent acting, too!
Don't see it if You are not into family dramas.
See it if you want to see a different play and learn about a different culture
Don't see it if you want a fluffy play
See it if You are interested in learning some elements of Muslim culture, history, and family dynamics, presented by excellent committed actors
Don't see it if You are not interested in the culture and need a lot of action to enjoy a show
See it if Well acted. See if you are interested in problems of immigrants and assimilation
Don't see it if You have problems with resentful main characters who are flawed Read more
"A timely look at the traumas of dislocation among the children of Muslim immigrants in England, it seems a bit traumatized and dislocated itself, unable to control the gears of conflict to tell its story clearly...'An Ordinary Muslim' is an important work still struggling to emerge from a text filled with freshman problems...The most promising thing is the way its best moments seem to creep delicately out from under the rock of the author’s determination to make heavier points."
"Hammaad Chaudry makes an audacious if erratic professional debut...The play comes most excitingly to life when it probes the mental torment of being Muslim in an increasingly hostile Western culture...Chaudry and director Jo Bonney can’t sustain this one’s central family tension. Still, Azeem’s anguish is palpable whenever De Silva is front and center."
"'An Ordinary Muslim' is its playwright’s professional debut, and it’s an impressive one...The play feels solid, nurtured, strong-boned...Chaudry has created a meticulous, empathetic ensemble drama—all eight of his characters feel nuanced, human—but the heart of his pain is located in the father and son...Bonney does precise, powerful work with the entire cast, and it’s particularly wrenching—in that half-funny, half-excruciating, wholly recognizable way—when the generations lock horns."
"Chaudry smartly plants little seeds of conflict throughout his exposition, and with agrarian patience, the cast nurtures them into fruition. By encouraging such nuanced performances, director Jo Bonney expertly cultivates the slow-build nature of Chaudry's script...'An Ordinary Muslim' is a slow climb, but it's worth it once you get to the top and see Chaudry's bird's-eye perspective."
"There's so much going on in 'An Ordinary Muslim' that it feels less like a play and more like a pilot for a miniseries...There's plenty of rich material here, but it wants better sorting out...The best thing about 'An Ordinary Muslim' is the chance to spend time with its talented cast, although Jo Bonney's sluggish direction often leaves them at a disadvantage...This is a seriously undercooked piece that needs considerable rethinking if it is ever to be made to work. It tells too much and shows too little."
"It's exciting to see a new play centering on the Pakistani community and Chaudry's writing shows promise...A solid production with an excellent cast and a savvy director...However, there are problems...These people would never have the level of naivety Chaudry assigns them here simply for the wheels of his plot to keep turning...Worse still is the ridiculous political diatribe Chaudry goes on...Chaudry isn't really saying anything new or fresh in his play."
"The trouble is that there is nothing new or daring or particularly interesting about the play despite its intriguing subject matter. It is an old-fashioned play-think warmed over Clifford Odets with a touch of Chekhov and more than a few hints of Greek hubris-that deals with the treatment of Pakistani-British Muslims in Great Britain, specifically West London, 2011. It is full of clichéd writing including having characters appear just as their name is brought up."
"In Chaudry’s riveting drama, both generations suffer. Familiar and marital ties are tested, as traditions are challenged and changing times place demands...Jo Bonney directs a uniformly excellent cast. Sanjit De Silva shines as Akeem, the prism through which these many complex issues are reflected. Desai plays his sister with spirit and style, and Bedi is affecting as Akeem’s distressed wife...Akeem faces an identity crisis that is far from 'ordinary,' as the play’s ironic title suggests."