HEAD OVER HEELS IN SAUDI ARABIA
Head Over Heels in Saudi Arabia
Spotlites@the Merchant Hall
Maisah Sobaihi stars in this play about women’s roles in Saudia Arabia… she poses the question to the audience as to what their pre-conceptions are about women in Saudia Arabia at the offset, with answers mostly returning ideas of oppression, women not being able to drive and men being able to marry multiple times. Sobaihi then challenges these notions and in a humorous and very confident manner acts out some snippets from some women’s daily lives in Saudi Arabia. We are shown how typically a woman might react at finding out her husband wants to take another wife and how a woman feels from the perspective of having married “Misyar”, (marrying outside of financial obligation/sharing a home). Sobaihi also deconstructs familiar pre-conceptions about what it must be like to not be able to drive.
This is both an educational and enjoyable play which is performed well and draws the audience into thinking about what we often presume about Islamic or Middle Eastern nations and cultures. In demonstrating that reactions of women are the same the world over regardless of religion or location, Sobaihi succeeds in making Saudia Arabia not seem quite so different to the UK after all. Maybe one that women would find more appealing than men, and it did feel just a little bit too long on the running time, yet definitely recommendable as something different and valuable in forging some pleasant mental connections between the Western and Eastern sides of the world. THREE STARS
Reviewer – Antionette Thirgood