The Oxford Daily
New comedy following the journey of a young British-Punjabi female, single in a world of couples, togetherness and nightmare offspring.
I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that ‘if it’s on at the Burton Taylor then it’s well worth seeing.’ This splendid one woman comedy, seamlessly directed by Lucy Taylor, showcased the writing and performing talents of the very special Anjali Mya Chadha.
An extremely well entertained audience were taken on a whistle stop tour of weddings: traditional Punjabi and ‘English Christian Church’. The conclusion of the writer/performer – that we’re all the same, basically – was spot-on, but largely incidental.
What this performance was all about was Ms. Chadha’s ability to create believable types of people – yummy mummies, Punjabi parents, British Asian teenagers, SAS uncles, middle aged women in hats, gorgeous/repellent brothers – in stereotypical wedding scenarios – church, reception, car – and make it all feel fresh and newly discovered.
Her central character was Jo Jo; a twenty something single Punjabi (by birth) English (by location) woman in search of the ideal man – Barrister Boy. Fetching up at the wedding of a (British) university friend she encounters C of E weddings for the first time and compares them to her knowledge of Punjabi celebrations. The result is a hilarious collection of characters and situations that had the audience in stitches from start to finish.
In role as her father, her mother, Hooknose, (Barrister Boy’s Bhangra Gangsta elder brother) a variety of over officious uncles (British and Punjabi), a Punjabi mystic and a Notting Hill yummy mummy – with her Satan-spawn son in tow – Ms Chadha kept up a high energy performance that showed a palpable delight in performance. Such energy is a delight in live theatre and her engagement with the audience made for an extremely successful performance.
Her admitted influences include the arch-storytelling talents of Alan Bennett, Lenny Henry and Billy Connolly. She compares favourably with all three in her ear for realistically humorous dialogue, energetic performance and an ability to make ethnic peculiarities accessible to a mainstream audience. My hearty congratulations for a well written and well realised piece of comedy theatre, and best wishes for the rest of the tour. There are rumours of a companion piece – Barrister Boy’s story: I can’t wait – it’s got Harry Potter 7 beat for anticipation in my diary!
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