Pros: Taboo topic made public
Cons: May be offensive at times
As we are entering the post – Brexit United Kingdom, everyone’s day-to-day reality is soon to become rather different. Things that we often only thought about, but were too embarrassed or ashamed to voice out-loud are being brought out of the dark in this anarchic comedy about ‘Britishness’ and what exactly that means.
Afsaneh Gray brings a script that is set in a dystopian world of humans having to be ticked into a box and defined as ‘a someone’ from ‘somewhere’. We meet three women who are called in for an interview, as the state is the one to define how British you are.
Sara, Scheherazade and Sarah are all born and bred in the UK. Even though they may all look different, they have more things in common than they realise. Sara seems to be of Asian descent, Scheherazade of Middle Eastern, and Sarah of a white background; I didn’t not necessarily understanding why the last had been called in for an interview. The three women go through an adventure of getting to know each other in an unusual way through generalisations, prejudices, punk and Mary Poppins.
The play is set to stun you with honesty and entertain you to the core. The talented cast deals impeccably with the challenge of delivering blunt stereotypes. Special mention goes to Serin Ibrahim, who had to replace one of the cast members due to illness, but the fact that she performed on the book was hardly noticeable.
The performance is incredibly well directed by Fringe First winner Pia Furtado. Tara Arts Theatre is great venue to showcase a talented director; as the stage space is limited, creativity in its use really has to take place. You immediately see that with the carefully choreographed movement of props on stage.
In a world where unfortunately, stereotyping is a part of life, Octopus is another example of why human beings should really focus on developing a non-judgemental way of life. The phrase ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ has become a cliche because of the fact that it is repeated so often. There is a reason for that though. The fight for equality should not be ignored and unity amongst humans should be a sole focus for all.
Written by: Afsaneh Gray
Director: Pia Furtado
Producer: Paper Tiger Productions
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run.