The UK premiere of Duck is written by Maatin, directed by Imy Wyatt Corner, and performed by Omar Bynon. Ismail (Omar Bynon) whose name can’t even be pronounced by his schoolmates and teachers is a vibrant Indian teenager whose love for cricket knows no bounds.
The story unfolds in the days leading up to the tragic July 7 terrorist attack that occurred in London in 2005. This devastating event led to the endorsement of Islamophobia and the unfair stigmatisation of individuals with brown skin, beards, or thick hair. Amidst this backdrop, the narrative of “Duck” presents a mundane account that immerses readers in the life of a 15-year-old Indian boy. Throughout his passionate journey in the world of cricket, he encounters subtle instances of racism and discrimination based on his name, skin colour, and ethnic background.
The piece tackles discrimination that exists structurally which leads to structural violence, one that is legitimised. Thus, the choice of showing the muddiness of life in an 85 minutes piece was an interesting choice to underline. This muddiness is highlighted throughout the disposition of the stage; the audience was immersed in Ismail’s life, making us feel like Ismail’s trusted friends, personal diary, and observers.
The piece introduces digital tills within making it more accessible to everyone. The actor had great enthusiasm and charisma. The play’s protagonist, an enthusiastic teenager, takes us on an emotional journey throughout the entire 85 minutes. We become deeply invested in his experiences, which revolve around the harsh realities of racism.
Playing until 15th July, https://www.arcolatheatre.com/whats-on/duck/
Reviewer: Marita Matar
Reviewed: 30th June 2023
North West End UK Rating: