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I am a Londoner by Saima Duhare

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To be a Londoner today. Or maybe not to be, that’s the question.


IAL_CYT.jpgI’m a Londoner” is extremely impressive, performing at The Courtyard Theatre, Old Street, until the next 5th September.

The set is the real London street life. The format is a succession of characters with as much dialogues. The actor’s performances are very good. A great script posing the question what a Londoner is today. Each character represents an icon you meet in your everyday life. “I’m a Londoner” must be seen.

The show is built on a lineup of assorted characters wisely chosen, representing the variegated mankind of London. It is a sequence of seven characters, each one of them with a dedicated monologue.

You maybe presume to know London, most probably you don’t.

I’m a Londoner was conceived in 2009. The idea came from when I was very sick and was watching television. There was nothing much interesting on television or anything that represents diversity and culture which is one of the much that make up of London. So I decided I want to create characters, the ones that I come across on the street. They are daily basis for us, but the connections are not huge connections, they still have a small impact when you pass by” said director Saima Duhare, also producer for Palladini Productions.

The performances of the actors are remarkable. The cast does a great job, often interacting with the public, creating touching atmospheres and comical moments or a bittersweet joke. The actors were chosen in an informal way, says Saima Duhare: “I wanted to find a person not an actor. I want someone who can I identify with, who can relate with it. I don’t usually do auditions. My auditions are people coming, we chat and we talk about the feel and to understand the personality. And if the person will be able to play that part”.

With a great script – writers Sam Bevitt, Roberto Trippini and Micheal Clarkson – above all “I’m a Londoner” poses some important questions about what it is to be a Londoner, targeting those stereotypes of our city everyday life.

Nowadays London is a blend of cultures and people, often countering one to each other, subject to continuous transformation. A town where it is very difficult to find someone who speaks English. A place of loneliness as a common habit, even if you are not single. The recent political issues, the credit crunch and the war, have changed something in town. “I’m a Londoner” reflects all these particular aspects by telling loser stories and not the one of the winners.

The show can be described through each single character and relative monologue.

The first character, in fact, is an Asian girl – actress Suni La – who distributes the Evening Standard, not the job she dreamed of when coming to London. She almost committed suicide once, to ease her pain, probably. People were laughing at her on the Tube platform and so did her boyfriend when she told him. She is alone. But she must be happy to keep going on with her job, the only chance to survive she has.

The second monologue is an ex- Army homeless – actor David Palliser. Once a hero, now on heroine, he is a very angry one, used to have a glittering life, money and beautiful girls. After he was discharged at work had no money. He is alone now and sleeps roughly anywhere. He says:”That’s why I’m on drug. Forget who I am for a sec, become someone else, become powerful”.

The third character is a religious fanatic – actor Tom Bonington – who shouts in a megaphone: “Be a winner/ not a sinner”. He is a Christian reborn, addicted to Bible. Ex- City worker, one time he had a beautiful apartment, lots of money, gorgeous girls. But then he became HIV positive. Glittering life is finished. He is alone now. So he turned into a religious extremist. To save his soul, perhaps having seen his body cannot be saved anymore.

The fourth monologue – actress Sanita Simms – portrays a fashionista. She goes around shouting continuously “Yah” or “Darling” into her mobile, a sort of extension of her hand. “Fashion is all that I care” she states. She feels superior to everyone and to everything she cannot understand, disgusted by using a bus. She goes to all the posh places downtown but is totally alone, living a false life of fake friends.

The fifth character – actor Andrew Ward – is a Belarusian burger seller. “Everybody in London shits gold” someone tricked him in his country. He has been deceived not only with opportunities, work, and money but with the promise of a lifestyle upgrade. Now he must pay back a lot of money or his family is endangered. He works 19 hours per day selling burgers to hateful customers. When the council takes away his grill, he looks for help but can only ask to his slave- drivers.

The sixth monologue – actress Velile Tshabalala – describes a drunken Nigerian socialite. She is the daughter of an ambassador. Her mum once told her she is born for a mistake. She lives in a world of malicious gossip, champagne parties and has no friends. “God gave me a friend once, my grandfather” she says. She would like to drink a beer in Regent’s Park and work in pub to make for it, shopping in Primark and living in Brixton. But she cannot because of her social status.

Last character is a washed up Italian piano player – Luca Zizzari – heading to the airport to go back home. In three years of London life nothing is working well. His first lesson in town was to learn the hard way. He has a strong reliance on his mother, who doesn’t accept him to be an ordinary person. He is in love with Clarissa: “The only Londoner I met in three years, because here everyone is coming from everywhere but London”. He asked her to follow him. She replied to wait for her at the airport, maybe or maybe not, coming. With a bitter “Ciao London” he closes the show.

“These characters are very important to London City. We overlook just because they don’t wear the suit and just because they don’t fit into a social environment. But we perceive they still have great stories to tell” said Saima Duhare.

Published for: www.italoeuropeo.co.uk

Direct link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3193:-to-be-a-londoner-today-or-maybe-not-to-be-thats-the-question&catid=83:spettacolishow&Itemid=300082


Written by davidfranchi

November 14, 2010 at 7:17 pm

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