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Though not all his characters are adequately fleshed out, Ishy Din reveals a good ear for lively dialogue in his first full-length play for Tamasha.

It takes too long - and too much repetition- to set up a thin plot, but the reunion of four old friends, gathered in a snooker hall in an unspecified Northern town to commemorate the birthday of a fifth (T, who died prematurely) keeps the ball rolling for its 95 plus minute booze-fuelled duration.

Jaz Deol’s Billy now lives in London after falling out with his family (over, it seems, a long ended relationship with a white girl), but he’s back to mark the demise of old mate T. Aggressive, edgy cab driver Shaf (Muzz Khan) is up to something shady and has too many kids, whilst Peter Singh’s conventional, aspiring manager Mo is still desperate to father one. And Asif Kahn’s underdog Kamy is a butcher in the family business who treasures the “lucky” cue, left to him by T, in the belief it was nicked from a snooker champ.

They’ve grown apart over the years but, although they’re linked by their shared Pakistani Muslim background, these heavy-drinking young men with their different life choices are all unsure of which path to take to be accepted as British whilst remaining true to their heritage. As Shaf rather crudely observes, what else is he expected to do to fit in- short of tattooing a Union Jack on his private parts?

Bush Theatre, Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ
Tube: Shepherds Bush
020 8743 5050 | £15-£20 | till 24th March
www.bushtheatre.co.uk  

Image via Robert Day


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London theatre: Snookered at the Bush Theatre
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