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Review: Theatre

My Name Is …

My Name Is …

Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Neil Cooper

The newspaper headlines that surround the estranged family in Sudha Bhuchar's new play for Tamasha Theatre Company may scream of how a young Scottish/Pakistani girl was kidnapped by her father, but the truth is infinitely more complex.

Drawn from interviews with the real-life mother, father and daughter whose faces were seen all over the world in 2006 when just such an incident occurred, Bhuchar's play changes their names to try and explain the back-story to what happened.

In Philip Osment's simple-but-stately production, Farhan and Suzy tell how they met and fell in love in Glasgow, with a teenage Suzy converting to Islam as they marry and have children, including their youngest, Ghazala. As personal and cultural tensions coming to the fore, the marriage falls apart and Farhan returns to Pakistan, with Ghazala moving across continents to be with one parent or the other.

This is a sad, emotionally raw story that is laid bare without sentiment as the family's words reveal a fragile, warts and all world of painful decisions that have disastrous consequences for all. Buchar wisely doesn't take sides or attempt to offer any easy solutions in a drama that has moved on considerably from where her play ends. Rather, she and Osment allow the understated power of the piece to come through a fantastically nuanced trio of performances from Kiran Sonia Sawar as Ghazala, Umar Ahmed as Farhan and especially Karen Bartke as Suzy.

While the resonances of the play being performed in Glasgow cannot be understated, for all the heartbreak on show, it's the moments of love you remember most.

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