Performer: Jamie Zubairi
Director: Kath Burlinson
Movement Director: Mina Aidoo
Balinese Choreographer: Ni Made Pujawati
Reviewer: Christopher Owen
Taking the form of a migrant accountant living (or not as the case may be) his dream in Peckham, Jamie Zubairi takes us through a journey where we learn how empty a life feels in London as a Malaysian man, feeling he does not belong and has no real identity.
We join Dola as he is pursued by a ghost like presence who delivers him to places of his past, both emotionally and family related – with similarities to a Christmas carol. From the place where his grandma was born to a park around the corner from where he used to work, in which he has never stepped foot, he is shown what should be important and how to find what should matter to himself. Not money or time but emotions and identity, and when it comes to it, an intriguing relationship between himself and a client develops in a way he never expected.
Clever direction by Kath Burlinson and suitably stylised movement and Balinese choreography by Mina Aidoo and Ni Made Pujawati respectively, mean that the show zips along at a delightful pace. Multi character scenes never seem pushed but develop naturally and never leave you confused.
Mixing poetry, dance, painting and (a very sweet and moving use of) puppetry, Jamie Zubari holds the audience in this gripping and often laugh out loud funny play utilising all skills in his skill set. A true display of what a one man play can be and how it can have a deep effect on your thoughts, he performs with accuracy and is grounded throughout this hour of non-stop storytelling. Showing he is not only adept with different vocal techniques or accents but styles of movement and artistry he makes you feel at ease and irons out any awkwardness that can often surface when watching a solo performer in such an intimate stage space. You feel wholly involved in this tale and can relate not only to feelings, but also to time and location. An assured performance by a charming and honest performer, this is a lovely alternative to the usual festive offerings that the London fringe has. With interesting choreography and direction, the hour simply flies by. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and the funding platform WeFund, this is a perfect example of new work being supported in the right way by the public, and the powers that be recognising the potential in an artist that deserves to be seen by a much wider audience