Exodus evaluate – house secretary launches management bid in satirical farce

  • UK News
  • February 25, 2023
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It’s with outstanding prescience that Uma Nada-Rajah’s political farce has opened concurrently the Tory management marketing campaign. Simply as Sunak and Truss vie to outdo one another with right-wing awfulness, so fictional house secretary Asiya Rao (Aryana Ramkhalawon) angles to take the highest job from a lame-duck prime minster by seeming as illiberal as potential. The playwright might have written it yesterday.

With an eye fixed for a photograph opp, Asiya has turned up on the white cliffs of Dover to launch an anti-immigration coverage but extra merciless than the final one. I’m loth to say her Undertaking Womb, a plan to defend the UK behind a wall of radiation, in case it offers the present lot concepts.

Topicality, nonetheless, isn’t the one ingredient of satire. Nor even is justifiable anger. You additionally want a situation that feels vaguely believable, one thing painfully missing on this flat-footed Nationwide Theatre of Scotland manufacturing which takes purpose at Britain’s Brexit-era isolationism and misses badly. With targets as clumsily drawn as these, the satirical chew is toothless.

The house secretary’s publicity stunt is interrupted with a biblical flourish when a child washes up, Moses-like, on the Dover shore. For no obvious motive, neither Asiya nor her Malcolm Tucker-like particular adviser (Sophie Steer) is ready to put the kid into another person’s care. As an alternative, they disguise it within the minister’s designer purse and take the practice again to London. As you’d.

If that appears arduous to credit score, it’s no extra so than the remainder of this present. First, way of life journalist Tobi (Anna Russell-Martin) turns up for an unscheduled interview on the practice. Then, asylum-seeking opera singer Haben (Habiba Saleh) agrees to play the minister’s mom with a script that whitewashes the truth of her immigrant expertise.

And not using a basis in reality, the actors in Debbie Hannan’s manufacturing can solely flail round. The farce that follows isn’t pushed by an unstoppable logic however by a sequence of random occasions the characters select to just accept. They may simply as simply refuse and it could make the plot mechanics much less laboured in the event that they did. The cartoon inconsistency leaves the playwright’s essential stance towards isolationism trying blunt and apparent.

  • At Traverse, Edinburgh, till 28 August. Then on tour till 21 September.

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