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BrumHour is invited to experience and review theatre with Belgrade Theatre throughout the year.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
This production contains themes of bereavement and the afterlife.
Review: Jabala and the Jinn Online with Belgrade Theatre
Written by Asif Khan and Directed by Rosamunde Hutt
In Bradford, a young girl dealing with the loss of her mother and her new friend, a young refugee boy, who appears to be learning English through the works of Shakespeare conjure a mischievous spirit in this charming stage production streaming online.
Jabala (Natalie Davies) is about eight years old and dealing with her life has become incredibly challenging since her mother passed away, her father (Jay Varsani), always seems to be yelling at her these days and can’t seem to ever cheer him up. A bossy girl at school keeps trying to change her name to Ruth in an attempt to “westernise” her and telling her to avoid the refugee boy Munir (also played by Jay Varsani). Even before they first attempt to call out the Jinn spirit in Jabala’s house Jabala has already been hearing the voice of Jinn (Safiyya Ingar) lingering around her home.
At just under fifty minutes this stage production in the B2 Theatre at Belgrade Theatre in Coventry provides a warm welcoming space for everyone to find out more about Muslim culture how Jinn (spirits) play a role in the theology. Having grown up in north Birmingham I felt I was in familiar surroundings with learning about other cultures through songs, stories and verbal imagery. Young city kids will find much to enjoy.
Watching from home made me miss theatre even more and I wanted to be sat in the space at the B2 once more. Listening to reactions from the audience hearing them laugh or sound surprised.
The stage uses bright colours on the floor carpet and a climbing frame furniture which doubles as the playground and the home of Jabala and her dad. There are kitchen items on the furniture but the closes ups mainly featured a cheese grater behind the characters, for some reason.
I enjoyed the sounds of this play and how playful they were from the humming of characters to playground noises and even a magical rap from the actors. However there was a moment or two where the sound volume itself needed some extra modifying for streaming.
Having seen writer Asif Khan in previous acting roles as Tartuffe at the RSC and then in Doctor Who as Ramesh Sunder I was very much looking forward to seeing this production and I cannot wait to see what he creates next.
I used Belgrade’s booking system to order tickets for this performance through TicketCo and did find an issue when it came to loading the online screening so do make sure you get sent the correct links. It is probably just a teething issue.
Fun, charming and thoughtful, Jabala and the Jinn is available to watch online until 24th April. Book tickets here: belgrade.co.uk/events/jabala-and-the-jinn