Tamasha celebrates its 25th anniversary with this new play by performance poet Emteaz Hussain, who worked with the company for her debut, Sweet Cider, in 2008. Blood is a co-production with the Belgrade, Coventry, where the play opened in March, and it now visits central London before continuing on a nationwide tour.
A brilliantly written re-imagination of the Romeo and Juliet story, this two-hander begins with the meeting of happy-go-lucky Sully and posh Caneze in a college canteen. As they get to know each other better, Sully is threatened by Saif, Caneze’s brother, who is a Pakistani gangster and who vows to protect his sister’s honour. Eventually, both young lovers are subjected to frightful violence.
Hussain writes this passion-filled tale with lashings of humour as well as intense feeling. Adam Samuel-Bal (Sully) and Krupa Pattani (Caneze) not only play their main characters, but also a host of other people, from Saif to Sully’s Pakistani aunt. Pattani conveys all the confidence of a privileged family’s daughter, while Samuel-Bal perfectly catches the awkwardness of the boy who has always been seen as a loser.
In Esther Richardson’s wonderfully theatrical production, Pattani gradually discovers her character’s ability to trust, and Samuel-Bal grows slowly into a man. The result is a very satisfying evening, in which you can easily admire the finesse of the storytelling, the writing’s stylish poetry and the deep emotions that come from two great performances. This is a superb example of new writing, and the enjoyable production is a fitting tribute to this company’s good work.
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.