York Theatre Royal – 28 April 2107. Reviewed by Marcus Richardson
Octopus, is a modern play set post Brexit, exploring the issues what it means to British and how we classify people. Set in an Identification Office there are three women; Sara, Sarah and Scheherazade, all from different backgrounds and all have even more different views. Scheherazade describes that she and the other two are octopuses (or octopi) one part this, the other that.
The Company made up of a cast of three are all waiting to be interviewed to see if they’re going to be deported, have their benefits cut or allowed to have children. As each character gets interviewed another actor turns into the interviewer, a Muslim with a headscarf that poses questions by the other characters. I loved this aspect of the play as all three of the actors took on this role in different scenes.
Dilek Rose who played Scheherazade was absolutely fantastic, not saying that the other two weren’t in fact the cast was very strong and each actor bring amazing quality to their performances, but Rose was absolutely hilarious with her facial expressions. Samara MacLaren played Sarah, a plain British woman who stands out as she seems the typical white woman who breaks into song whenever nervous. The third actor Alexandra D’Sa plays Sara the Indian woman who is an upright accountant who voted for this process, the contest here was really impressive, and D’Sa worked really well with this.
The set was made up of 8 chairs split both sides of the stage and a desk with its own desk chair, on this desk was a laptop and piles of paper. The greatest aspect was the simplicity of the stage as it meant they could do a lot with a little. There were three tube light at the front and back of the stage, they changed colour and helped set the scene when they were in the interview office and not in the waiting room, the music played a rather large part in creating the comedy and setting the feel, with Sarah breaking out into song with songs like ‘They’re Changing the Guards at Buckingham Palace’.
The show, touring until June, proves that theatre is just as good as any other platform to send a political message and does so in a comic way, that will make you laugh at the crude jokes on what it’s like to come from different backgrounds and maybe a prediction how people will be treated after Brexit has taken place.