Wednesday, 29 January 2020

REVIEW: Santi and Naz at the Vaults


Set in a small village in pre-partition India, Santi and Naz explores the friendship between two young women between 1945-1949. The short play, written by Guleraana Mir and Afshan D’souza-Lodhi, covers the growing impacts that the end of the British rule has on their lives. 

Santi (Rose-Marie Christian) dreams of being a writer and enjoys spending her days play fighting, dancing and laughing under a tree by the lake with her best friend, Naz (Ashna Rabheru). They laugh at men and practise English while slowly becoming increasingly aware of the seriousness of the political and religious shifts happening around them. Although seemingly unperturbed by Naz’s father setting her up with an unappealing older man, Santi’s frustrations begin to cause friction in their friendship. Soon before marriage, the abuse becomes apparent and the pair come together to get justice. Both performers excellently capture the essence of the energetic, aspirational women from start to finish, with evidence of the maturing and deeper understanding of the world around them as the play goes on. 

Due to the nature of the show, the fast-paced scenes lose some of the more poignant moments which could have been developed. Sascha Gilmour’s set and costume, alongside Rajiv Pattani’s lighting design transformed the space with minimal set and beautiful traditional costumes.

The Thelmas are renowned for their passion for writing powerful stories for women and showcasing new talent. Directed by Madelaine Moore, the play is funny, exciting and feisty. These female characters have an important story to tell, which they convey from a different perspective through dance, spoken word and monologue. 

Review by Hannah Storey

Rating: ★★★★

Seat: Unreserved | Price of Ticket: £16.50
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