Honour-Bound, VAULT Festival

by Zahid Fayyaz

This is a one-woman show with an accompanying musician, three chairs and a suitcase that tells the story of a British South Asian student, focusing on the beginning of her relationship with Jay at university. However, in between the descriptions of university life, there is a looming sense of dread and violence due to her family not approving of her match and what happened to her friend who went against her family’s wishes.

For a new production this is very slick, with excellent acting and writing. This is also the acting and writing debut of Zahra Jassi, who is great in her first show. The comedy hits well and makes the crowd chuckle, which makes the serious elements stand out and feel even more moving. In particular, the description of her friend’s funeral has the crowd in silence. The atmosphere is almost unbearably tense. The dichotomy between comedy and drama is very well done, in a way which never feels false to the audience.

It’s a very brave show with a strong ending. This was a fantastic debut and a suggestion of a bright future for Jassi. She isefinitely an actor and playwright to keep an eye on going forwards.

Honour-Bound runs through 10 March.

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