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Theatre Review: Love, Bombs & Apples

Contemporary theatre that’s intelligent and entertaining...

With its sharp script and precision performance, Love, Bombs & Apples is an entertaining one-man show guaranteed to make you chuckle. Passionately played by actor Asif Khan, he takes on the role of four characters who are all getting on with their lives, but find themselves in politically poignant circumstances. The play by Hassan Abdulrazzak uses comedy as a vehicle to bravely tackle problems facing the Arab, Jewish and Muslim communities across the world, drawing attention to social issues, and making them more relevant than news coverage ever does.

The stories transport us to life under occupation for the average Palestinian; a British Muslim jailed under suspicion of terrorism; a disenfranchised youth tempted by IS and a Jew torn between his liberal girlfriend and Zionist father. In each account Asif delivers an energetic, convincing performance, switching between accents, ages and circumstances with ease. Aided by a spot-on script, it’s the moments of honesty that are the most humorous.

Painful moments greet all the characters, from trying to find a quiet place to get passionate to addressing bedroom issues with a partner who’s more concerned about war than intimacy, through to the naive novelist whose work of fiction gets misinterpreted as a terror manual: every monologue is played with charm and sincerity and could easily form the basis of an individual play.

A swift and satisfying show, Love, Bombs & Apples, now in its second run is a piece of contemporary storytelling that every member of an audience can connect with. Brave in its approach and tackling sensitive topics with confidence, it’s a reminder that you don’t need to go to an all-signing, all-dancing production with a huge cast to feel like you’d had a good night out; the most minimalist of sets and simplest methods of storytelling can be the most effective.

Love, Bombs and Apples produced by AIK Productions and Turtle Key Arts is showing at The Arcola Theatre in Hackney, London until June 25th, then goes on tour.

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