MEHNDI is the Muslim equivalent of a hen night, only without the alcopop binges and puke. Fin Kennedy's dramatic poem, written in collaboration with Asian students at the Mulberry School for Girls in London's East End, takes such a crucial social get-together as a starting point from which to explore the multicultural conflicts that can arise when western mores rub up against eastern tradition. It is all seen through the eyes of Ripa, a twentysomething DJ and rapper who eventually comes home for her sister's wedding.
Ripa acts as narrator, too, in this cracking piece of community theatre, which is played in a sparky, out-front style by its vibrant cast of 10 young women. Like some stylised latter-day Muslim take on Jack Rosenthal's Barmitzvah Boy, which captured the Jewish East End so well, Kennedy, director Julia Voce and the cast have crafted a 35-minute meditation on acceptance and reconciliation that's light, bright and is blessed with theatrical verve. As the cast themselves put it so well, life, like a samosa, is for sharing.
Loading article content