Fri 28 Apr
Ticket Information: £14
Booking Fee: £1.50 transaction fee per booking
Producer: Paper Tiger Productions and Greenwich Theatre
Writer: Afsaneh Gray
Directed by: Pia Furtado
Music Composed by: Serafina Steer
Cast: Alexandra D'Sa, Dilek Rose, Samara MacLaren
“You’re an octopus. All mixed up, like me. One leg something, and one leg something else.”
Octopus is a satire about what it means to be British. As far as Sarah, Sara and Scheherazade are concerned, they have nothing in common. And yet they’ve all been called in for an interview to determine how British they are; a new requirement for those who are considered to have ‘non-indigenous heritage’. Sara looks kind of Asian. Scheherazade looks kind of Middle Eastern. And Sarah is kind of white and has no idea why she’s here. She also keeps bursting into song. But by the end of the play it becomes clear that these three women are all what Scheherazade thinks of as ‘octopuses’ — mixed race and mixed up with it. And maybe that’s true of Britishness too.
Octopus is set in a post-Brexit dystopia of bureaucratic box ticking and absurd interviews that feels disturbingly close to present day reality. It explores internal borders, what it’s like to be seen as a foreigner in your own land, and — with a musical motif running throughout the show — the power of punk.
This is Afsaneh Gray’s (Royal Court Studio Group, Soho Young Writers’ Group, Orange Tree Writers’ Collective) first full-length play, and it draws on her own experiences as a mixed-up half-Iranian/half-Jew. With ‘mixed race’ now the fastest growing ethnic minority in the country, and staged against the backdrop of Brexit, concerns about immigration and the refugee crisis, the questions it asks feel particularly relevant.
"Raises the hairs on the back of your neck ... laugh-out-loud funny" The Times
"Inspired and very funny" ★★★★ The Stage
Post-show discussion with BBC Foreign Correspondant Gabriel Gatehouse.