London, UK

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  • Ben Quashie

I Wanna Be Yours Review

'I Wanna Be Yours' by Zia Ahmed

Bush Theatre: Dec 12 - Jan 18

Review by Ben Quashie


At All - KAYTRANADA

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The energy in the space is constantly bouncing. Charged and waiting to spring. Anna Himali Howard found the rhythm of the play and matched it to perfection carrying the tempo of London & Leeds throughout. There are so many elements in this song that compliment each other, all working in unison in the same way that Rachael Merry’s phenomenal performance is enhanced by the pairing of Anna’s direction and Jennifer Jackson’s movement work, creating a quality integrated BSL showcase that should be studied by all!


Sorry (Time will tell) - .Sinh

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Zia’s writing drives the play forward though it’s comedy and relatability but like a master painter, beautifully hides the complexities of a mixed race relationship in plain sight. The few moments of stillness and delicacy are accentuated, like the saxophone, with poetic language until the landmark introduction of Toby begins to lay an unsettled feel between the couple.


Move Like You Want (Live) - Ben Howard

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From the moment Ella & Hasseb, played by Emily Stott & Ragevan Vasan, begin to interact with each other we sense the all too familiar spark between the two. The synchronicity between the two is unrivalled throughout almost as if they are performing a Salsa for the entire length of the play.


Run This Town - Jay Z, Kanye West & Rihanna

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Name a more iconic song by an iconic trio where the power is balanced (i.e. not Destiny’s Child)... It was a tough decision between this and the sugarbabes but ultimately the more urban nature of the play vibrates through this song. The top tier performances from Emily, Ragevan & Rachael make them one of the most seasoned ensembles I’ve seen this year. Rihanna’s hook is also very reminiscent of Haseeb’s attitude, both voiced & internalised, to the microaggressions and casual islamophobia that is infused with the development of their relationship.


BTSTU (Demo) - Jai Paul

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Pacing, the way the song builds and instruments are added reflects the elements that are built on top of their relationship, both good and bad. Zia attacks the issues on both sides of mixed ethnicity relationships so precisely, at times it was like looking at a mirror. The language is poetically crafted and builds multiple times to satisfying climaxes. The electric guitar-esq synth grows to own the space so you are left waiting in anticipation for the return of it in the same way Toby gradually grows to consume the entire auditorium until you’re sat as far back in your chair holding your breath waiting to be released from Zia’s grip.

Honourable mentions

Sexual (ft. Dyo) - NEIKED

Every other freckle - Alt-J

What if I go? (Nighttime Version) [ft Bonzai] - Mura Masa

Risk (ft. Bas) - FKJ

Push the button - Sugarbabes

Stephanie’s Crib - Che Lingo

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