East is East at Nottingham Playhouse ★★★★★
Nottingham Playhouse welcomed the brand new production of this Olivier Award-winning comedy on 25th May, and it’s quickly become a sensation among those who’ve seen it.
Chip shop owner George has his work cut out as head of the Khan household. Back in George’s homeland, Pakistan, a father rules the house; but in 1970s Salford, as Britain evolves and rebels, his teenage children are proving quite the challenge.
Read on to find out what we thought about our experience at a performance of East is East last week.
Linda – A delightful evening was spent watching the cast of East is East perform to a packed audience at Nottingham Playhouse. Each and every member of the cast were outstanding in their delivery of the stage version of a hugely popular film from the 90s, set in the 70s.
It ranks as one of the top plays I have seen at the Playhouse, or, indeed, anywhere, and I would defy anyone not to enjoy the show. It had something for everyone – from humour to revulsion, pathos to sympathy and wit to despair, but with an overriding feeling that things were going to get better in the Khan household, to make sure you don’t go home too disheartened. Don’t miss it!
Kinga – I was looking forward to the press night at Nottingham Playhouse so when we arrived I couldn’t wait to take my seat.
First act is full of laughs caused by constant bickering between the family members. Disagreements occur usually between the children and the parents but also the children themselves.
The play highlights the differences between the lifestyle in Pakistan and Britain and at times exaggerates them to demonstrate how a household with two cultures deals with problems and overcomes challenges.
Overall the tone of the play is quite light and humorous. The second act becomes slightly darker and reality creeps up to then overtake audience’s feelings towards the head of the family – George (Kammy Darweish), who is displaying violent behaviour towards both his wife Ella (Vicky Entwistle) and his children for opposing his wishes.
I really enjoyed the metaphors used in the play, they were made quite clear and easy to pick up by the audience but at the same time ambiguous and open to individual interpretation. The youngest son Sajit’s parka, for example, could stand for separating himself from the world and not wanting to hear his family’s constant arguments. It could also stand for mental problems which in the 1970s were rather ignored than talked about.
Make sure you catch East is East at Nottingham Playhouse, it is definitely worth it.
Alex – East is East is one of the best productions I have seen at Nottingham Playhouse. In the first act, you instantly see the sheer talent of all members of the cast as soon as each character appears on stage for the first time. It’s also incredibly humorous.
The second act is much darker at some points but these moments are integral to the story and because they’re performed so spectacularly, they only made me appreciate just how good the show was even more. Humour is never far away though and there are still laughs aplenty in the second act.
Vicky Entwistle as Ella was superb – she plays the role of a loving yet strict mother so well. We see wonderfully tender moments between her and her children and husband George (Kammy Darweish who plays George is definitely worth a mention too!), but also times where she erupts and we see a woman who is struggling to keep her family together.
The younger members of the cast who play George and Ella’s children are fantastic – the sibling banter between them comes across as so natural and is such good fun to watch.
Make sure you catch this show while it’s on at The Playhouse!
East is East is on at the Nottingham Playhouse for five more days – till 10th June with one show each night, and two shows on 8th June (one of them signed interpreted). Tickets are going fast, so don’t miss out.