Thursday, November 16, 2006
Last night I saw a play at Soho Theatre as part of the Kali's Asian Women Talk Back festival showcasing new writing by British Asian women. The centrepiece of the festival was Amber Lone's Deadeye, about the tension between family loyalties, traditional cultural values and individual freedoms. Brother and sister Deema and Tariq are keen that their lives do not end up like that of their parents - sitting around dreaming of things that can never be theirs, but they are constantly battling their own parents' expectations of them to live by traditional Indian values. The father dreams of buying million pound houses in the Cotswolds and quick rich schemes whilst sitting at home pontificating from his sofa; his harassed wife nurtures Kashmiri plants in her Birmingham garden while growing ever frustrated by the telephone and electricity being cut off and being deserted by her children; the son Tariq living a life of oblivion hooked on drugs and booze and moving in currupted circles; and daughter Deema, going to college and applying for jobs she fears she'll never get because she is desperately trying to cover for her brother as well as turn his life around. So well-acted by the small cast that I ended up loving and hating each character intensely.