Archives for posts with tag: director of Londonee Mukul Ahmed

                                                                 Afterwards

Last night I watched an angel dance

On a London stage

In our BanglaTown

Wedged between tower blocks

And Aldgate wealth of chicken shops

And sarees.

First he balanced perfectly

On one leg and then on the other

His white lungi opened wide

His anklets stirred.

And we were in an oasis

Transported to somewhere else

He was the universal player of good deeds

A despatch rider from heavens above

The embodiment of getting it right

The message man to our souls.

An actor acting something unreal

A pretender rehearsed in his role.

We in from the rain of a November evening

Succumbed to the illusion

The stage lights warmed us

And the celestial beings

Folk-lored and globally-taled

Redundant and resident in

Beloved poems and nurseries

Joined in the dance.

What a fabulous performance! Proper drama. Where else can you go to a community theatre and be welcomed by our events organiser? And who else provides free refreshments in the intermission? Brady Arts Centre is the place to be.

The stage was ready and ON TIME the performance began with vitality and gross swearing. We were off, comfortable on our benches, warm in the set’s lights and about to be entertained with excellent acting from everyone, poetry spoken very well, singing out of this world and touches of angst and humour peppered with colloquialisms, Streetspeke, wise old sayings and modern bang up to date observations of life. For example why couldn’t so and so eat ice-cream? Answer “Allergic”. Kebabs, Halal hot-dogs, Yorkshire puddings, Magnum ice-cream, fish fingers; all references to the multi-cultural society we find in Bangla Town and then some. A huge nod to the year 1971, the year Bangladesh was forced to form itself, reminders of  family and village back home, some quips about the position of the Bangladeshi woman, a band of angels, and all this on a simple, I mean simple stage.

I loved it despite it got pretty tedious towards the end and we feared the cliched ending with a predicted I told you so exposure of Mr Magnum’s (aka Manush the fallen angel or was he pushed? ) former earthy identity. We had an happy ending, that’s for sure.

I loved the energy, the quickly changing scenes, the voices and optimum use of the stage, the youthfulness, the daring, the risk-taking such as break dancing in front of an audience. Anything could go wrong.

The journey home was awkward as be warned the 254 bus does not travel along Whitechapel High Street until late December. The 25 buses were crazy; one after the other. I was sat next to an African whose mouth stank of the stockfish she’d gnawed last night. Who knows what she suffered to get to Mile End, east end.

There was no kick against authority in this Bangla Drama feast. Here was a play showing how a person must know her history to gain a certain sense of freedom. Demons have to be wrestled with.  In “Londonee”, a soul had to be saved, the soul of a “no good Londonee”. In that phrase alone all the despising of the Bangladeshis who settled around Aldgate with their muddled identities is raw. A Bangladeshi forsaking her family doesn’t please the gods when she embraces a foreign London life. Roots must be preserved.

The character Carl was great. What an actor!

The performance deserved the noisy clapping at the end. The audience never moved away immediately. The people were mesmerized and looked like they wanted more as if the fiver entry weren’t bargain enough.

Top night out.