This story follows Pakistani chip shop owner George ‘Genghis’ Khan. He is a domineering father who lives with his English (second) wife Ella and six of his seven children. the story has been around for a long time and you may have seen the film version.
The story explores a variety of topics from racial identity, cultural clashes and family interaction during the 1970s . George portrays a Pakistani male with traditional values, but most of his children see themselves as English and conflict occurs.
George starts the play with bad language as he attempts to impose his will on his children. He attempts to organise arranged marriages for two of his sons, which is met with less than enthusiasm. The comedy changes to frustration and we see some less than comfortable scenes. The complexities of George are acted out well and Pauline McLynn ably assists as Ella, the mother torn between her children’s freedom and her own marriage. The best action of the evening in my opinion is her defence of the family against the visiting Pakistani upper class near the end, This scene was met with a round of applause. Ashley Kumar, Dharmesh Patel, Assad Zaman, Salma Hoque and Darren Kuppan are the children struggling to find their identity, but Adam Karim, as the Parka-obsessed Sajit provides the bulk of the comedic relief.
The story is far from simple, in many ways it is complex and thought provoking. It makes for a good evening’s entertainment and leaves you wondering about a variety of matters
East is East runs at The Regent theatre until Saturday. For tickets call the box office on 0844 871 7649.