Already closed | East Village

An Ordinary Muslim

From 130 member  reviews
Members say: Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Ambitious

About the show

New York Theatre Workshop presents playwright Hammaad Chaudry's professional debut, an exploration of what it means to be 'An Ordinary Musilim.' More…

Balancing the high expectations of the previous generation, the doctrines of their Muslim community, and the demands of secular Western culture, Azeem Bhatti and his wife Saima struggle to straddle the gap between their Pakistani heritage and their British upbringing. Obie Award winner Jo Bonney directs. 

Member Reviews (130)


Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Ambitious
Avg Score

Verbose, Long, Uneven, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested enough in the current situation for the British Pakistani community to overlook the stretches of pedestrian domestic drama

Don't see it if you have seen your share of lengthy domestic dramas with lots of intractable complications.

Also In “An Ordinary Muslim” a drama about a family of British Pakistani im... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if a crisis of expectations define a Brit Pakistani duo-generational family in two-and-one-half hours. Fissures can't mend staunch fervour.

Don't see it if ethnocentric-familial drama stretched labouriously over two acts.

Great acting, Relevant, Intense, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy watching complex characters struggling with identity and societal expectations.

Don't see it if you can’t take a heavy show. My biggest problem with this play is that nearly every scene features an argument. It lacks balance.

Intelligent, Relevant, Banal, Slow, Indulgent

See it if you are interested in family dramas and stories depicting feelings of alienation.

Don't see it if you want a quick paced, absorbing play. The story has its merits but the pacing moves at a snail’s pace. The book needs work and editing.

Great acting, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You like theatre that explores the political, social, cultural, and family issues that face Pakistani Muslim immigrants.

Don't see it if You are unwilling to consider the impact of racial and religious discrimination and cultural differences.

Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow, Boring

See it if you like slow moving plays with rants and tirades about racism.Play has a point to make but does so in a heavy handed way. Show don't tell

Don't see it if you were hoping to learn something about race relations regarding Muslims in the UK, by extension the US. Should be riveting, was dull

Absorbing, Ambitious, Indulgent, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if Good performances and a compelling story. Held my interest. Works as a family drama.

Don't see it if The political message the author was trying to convey made me very angry.

Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy a play that makes you think about the plight of being a stranger in a strange land that doesn't really accept you.

Don't see it if thought provoking work is not up your alley

Layered, Sensitive, Timely, Ambitious first play

See it if Multilayered play about being Pakistani in England, the once colonial power where the dominant culture looks crosswise at newer arrivals. A

Don't see it if lot going on, macro & micro, revealing many threads that aren't easily tied up, but worth the experience. Looking forward to Chaudry's next.

Absorbing, Exquisite, Great writing, Intelligent, Profound

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.

Also Hammaad Chaudry’s new play, An Ordinary Muslim, is one of the best pla... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Ambitious, Profound, Relevant

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.

Well acted but overwritten

See it if you trust NYTW to present challenging new work and new voices with a fine cast and thoughtful relevant storylines

Don't see it if work where too many interweaving but overly complex plot lines drives you nuts; trust the audience - we get it. a bit predictable

Also A really interesting play that could benefit from some tough editing. ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Thought-provoking

See it if you like family dramas; you like good acting even if you don't like the content

Don't see it if you don't want to see a Muslim family torn apart; you don't want to see Muslims unable to integrate into a non-Muslim society

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you are aware of and concerned with the prejudice against minorities and the resulting damage to all involved.

Don't see it if you do not want to be exposed to anger and violence both physical and psychological. The ripple effect of damage is profound

Ordinary plotting

See it if Professional cast running smoothly. Acting far exceeds the writing.

Don't see it if Plodding, overwrought play bogs down into soap opera Act II. Characters way too naive and self destructive. Unrealistic puppets of writer.

Also Demand for Muslim knowledge and information apparently enhanced play's... Read more Read less

Ambitious, unrealized first play, Uneven writing, Interesting characters & milieu but unfocused drama

See it if you're interested in complexities of immigrant dislocation & struggle of Muslims to assimilate & integrate faith with secular culture

Don't see it if you're impatient with much talk & little action; though many small moments are lovely, entire scenes and character arcs lack dramatic action

Also There are strong elements of a fascinating play here: complicated fami... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking, Second act veers into soap opera

See it if you're interested in a play about the Muslim experience in the western world.

Don't see it if you don't have patience for a new playwright learning his craft.

Absorbing, Clever, Great writing, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you enjoy a well-written family narrative structure -imagine Tony Kushner without the fantasy stuff

Don't see it if you prefer a theater that dont force you to think and reconsider stuff.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Relevant

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.

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Slow

See it if you are interested in social/political issues. and if you like good actors

Don't see it if you aren't patient with a new playwright still figuring things out. There's great stuff in here but it can be edited.

Relevant, well-written, riveting

See it if for the complex tapestry of ideas and characters, for the direct and current dialog on religion, tolerance & identity and for great acting.

Don't see it if you're looking for something lighter or less "talky", or if you're expecting a play to also resolve the difficult questions it raises.

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if you like plays about unique topics, you like new plays, you enjoy plays telling stories from different ethnicities

Don't see it if you want a fun play, you like big production values

Also This new play from an upcoming British playwright tells the story of a... Read more Read less

Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Resonant

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.

Ambitious, Banal, Disappointing

See it if You are up for a rather cursory treatment of the plight of upper-middle class, modern, progressive Muslims in post-9/11 London.

Don't see it if You are expecting something profound or relevatory.

Intelligent, Great writing, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to experience a table drama with something to say, and that provides ample representation for non-white people and narratives

Don't see it if you dislike table dramas and the trope of the angry young man

Also This play is exceptionally well written, and contains some knock out p... Read more Read less

February 26th, 2018
"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 f...
read more
February 26th, 2018
"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 ...
read more
February 26th, 2018
"'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 ...
read more
February 26th, 2018
"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...
read more

Related content