Strictly Balti

Travelling Light Theatre Company: Strictly Balti
Gilded Balloon
August 22-31
Saikat Ahamed’s one-man show managed to bring his bicultural childhood memories to life in an extraordinarily imaginative and vivid way, especially considering his wardrobe consisted of a T-shirt and jeans and his entire backdrop 3 plain boxes of different sizes. His story was an intensely personal one, of his struggles for a secure cultural identity growing up in Birmingham in a Bangladeshi family.
 His amazing talent is his ability to switch very quickly between extremely defined characters and stay completely true to the essence and accent of the character each time he returns to them, whether it’s his ballroom dance teacher, the Irish nuns in his primary school, or ‘Bed Granny’, the stern but bedridden family matriarch in his parents’ ancestral village. His facial expressions elicited instant empathy, whether it was embarrassment at being forced to read poetry at a community gathering or the crushing disappointment in his ‘Christmas presents’ revealed to be presents to send to cousins in Bangladesh for Eid al-Fitr.
It’s a very brave act, exposing yourself fully to a room full of strangers by sharing some of your most important memories and your family’s characters, and he was very grateful to the audience that his story was so well received. We should be glad that he followed his dream of becoming an actor rather than a doctor, as this is obviously where both his talent and passion lie. FOUR STARS
Reviewer: Lisa Williams

Posted on August 24, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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