Favour by Ambreen Razia
The Bush Theatre 2nd of July - 6th of August
Review by Aruna Jalloh
Favour is an example of when all elements of theatre come together to create an enjoyable and truthful night.
Freedom and Crap - Fuubutshushi
Once you enter the space you are met with a set that has a warm ambiance to it. The type that makes you think “ahh this is a home”. Liz Whitbread, Set and Costume designer, had done a beautiful job in recreating such a homely environment in the Bush theatre with family photos on the wall, rugs on the floor and a sofa that looks like it’s had 30 bums sat on it. This was also enhanced by Sonum Batra’s sound design. Very subtle sounds integrated into this scene such as the Tv playing whilst Noor the Grandma, played by Renu Brindle, washes the dishes and Leila, played by Ashna Rabheru, the Grand daughter painting in the front room and a sudden bang at the door that starts the play. All of these components combined reminded me of the subtleties and calmness of the song Freedom and Crap by Fuubutshushi.
Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles
The overall journey of the play feels similar to The Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever. This is owing to the themes of deception and secrecy that is held by the characters Aleena, played by Avita Jay, and Noor to uphold the facade of a stable family. Without giving any spoilers as there are many confessions and revelations that are unveiled during the course of this play, there are parallels to the Strawberry Fields Forever as you are presented with soft dreamy sounds that give you this sense of security and safety which Noor and Aleena try and make Leila feel. However, there is a stark contrast in the ending of the track as it’s quite unsettling just like the reality of the families situation. Take a listen and you’ll know what I mean.
LITE SPOTS - Kaytranada
Sally Ferguson’s lighting design was snappy which reminded me of Kaytranada’s LITE SPOTS. Some of the lights were integrated into the the lining of the sofa and walls which assisted in snapping in and out of different states, though the majority of the play happened in one location, their home. In its likeness LITE SPOTS has a snappy feel to it, from the claps in beat and the cutting in and out of the sample used in the song which creates textures that make you feel playful or at times a bit sentimental. This is also what Ferguson’s lighting design provided as well in different points of the play, it invited playfulness or moments of observation.
Street Fighter Riddim -D Double E
Now, the acting performances from every cast member was stellar with truthful and emotional range and depth. Rina Fatania’s depiction of Fozla had the audience in stitches upon her first entrance. Her delivery of lines was funny, electric and precise accompanied by ad-libs that gave us deep giggles and reminiscent of D Double E’s Street Fighter Riddim which is seasoned with ad-libs and precision in his own delivery on this track.
Favour, is definitely worth the watch and gives insight to the reality of a parent coping with addiction and crippling mental health and the effects that has on a family. As well as the impact of cultural traditions, Religion and the pressures they impose on each individual to give some type of safety and structure. There is a lot to unpack in Favour and we do highly recommend seeing it.