The P Word has opened at the Bush Theatre in London.
Waleed Akhtar’s sharp-witted new play charts the parallel lives of two gay Pakistani men
Zafar flees homophobic persecution in Pakistan to seek asylum in the UK; and Londoner Bilal is ground down by years of Grindr and the complexity of being a brown gay man. Their worlds are about to change forever.
Directed by Anthony Simpson-Pike (Lava), the play stars Waleed Akhtar and Esh Alladi.
More reviews to follow.
"A tremendous two-man rom-com"
"... The P Word delights on pretty much every level. Akhtar has the two men each narrating their stories to us as well as interacting. He has filled his script with adroit, self-aware exchanges and reflections. And if we know — roughly — the trajectory of the tale as this pair start to share movie nights and riverside walks, the characters are too well drawn, their problems too tangible, for predictability to be a problem."
"So The P Word gives you what you want as well as telling you what you don’t already know"
"The actors shine"
"It’s complicated being Pakistani and gay – and Waleed Akhtar’s The P Word doesn’t flinch from it."
"Directed by Anthony Simpson-Pike, it’s a love story of heat and heart, but it takes some time to get there."
"Akhtar’s script is self-aware and sprinkled with humour"
"Two very different gay Pakistani men cross paths in Waleed Akhtar’s tremendous new play"
"Waleed Akhtar’s gorgeous, devastating new play is split between two Britains. One’s the twenty-first century, ‘love is love’ home of corporate Pride sponsorship and endless app-enabled sexual possibilities. And the other one’s tougher, older – medieval, almost – a place where gay asylum seekers are intrusively questioned about their sexual behaviour, and banished to their deaths. The resulting drama might sound grim, and sometimes it is, but ‘The P Word’ is also heart-meltingly lovely, full of faith in the transformative power of love and friendship."