When in a mosque, there are a lot of things one shouldn’t do. Especially when you’re there for detention. But there is simply no way to keep count of the antics initiated by the girls of Dugsi Dayz. Left to their own devices when the Imam is a no show, the show must go on.
Four distinct characters are forced into one room as their differences play out. There’s a clown, a diva, a teacher’s pet and a moody wallflower with a mysterious past. A power outage plunges the detentionees into a frenzy, stoking some’s desire to break out of there, while others stay obedient or completely stoic. The girls decide it’s time to gather around with their flashlights, each taking the spotlight to pitch horror stories for the next generation. Cautionary tales to teach lessons they feel are of actual value, unlike the ones they were told from the aunties of generations past.
This ensemble manages to make sitting in detention the most entertaining it can be. The ball is passed from one cast member to the next, seldom dropping the show’s energy. With careful hands and an innate commitment to character, there is never a dull moment. The gags heavily rely on delivery, and deliver the actors do. The audience is laughing at the next joke before the last is complete. The portrayal of refreshing characters, that I have an inkling are directly inspired by real people or themselves, is effortless. They have their characters in their bones.
As someone with who grew up with Muslim culture, my heart is full, enjoying an hour of four Muslim girls telling a story they want to tell. This feels like a new beginning. Leaving behind the days when the only way a Muslim female character would make its way into the western world of performance art is to be type-cast or pigeonholed. It’s long overdue that we promote quality work that reflects reality.
These girls are so wonderfully real. Cranky, cheeky, funny, sad, try-hard, kind, lonely, perfect, imperfect, I could go on infinitely. I could also go on about why this show cannot be missed.
12:40 @ Underbelly, Cowgate – Belly Button
Aug 16-20, 22-27