REVIEW ROUND-UP: The Funeral Director at Southwark Playhouse

In Features, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Reviews by Emma ClarendonLeave a Comment

Hannah Hauer-King directs Iman Qureshi’s play about sexuality, gender and religion in 21st-century Britain. Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews… 

The Guardian★★★★ Hannah Hauer-King’s production is as swift and clean as the writing and the performances are all good.”

The Stage: ★★★ “Hannah Hauer-King’s direction keeps things moving on Amy Jane Cook’s detailed funeral home set, though at times the relationship between Ayesha and Janey feels over-explained and under-expressed.”

London Box Office: ★★★★ “Like all good drama the play’s fuelled by empathy, and by building it in this way Qureshi dares us to question just how much we’re willing to empathise with the perpetrators of homophobia – and what can be done to bring it to an end.”

Time Out: ★★★ “Qureshi sets up the requisite ethical dominoes, then tumbles them into one another. You can see exactly how they’ll fall. Very clever, yes, and very worthy. But about as three-star as they come.”

The Reviews Hub: ★★★1/2 “The Funeral Director has the potential to be a bigger play, tackling the controversial issues in greater detail. At the moment, with its 90-minute running time, Qureshi’s play is more a snapshot of Ayesha’s life. Still, this examination of lesbian desire in a community that forbids it will give heart to many.”

Theatre Full Stop: “Clearly a writer to watch, Quereshi has written a brilliant piece that explores gender and identity in a way that offers a much-needed diverse narrative. However, the speed at which some of the scenes in The Funeral Director progress are sometimes detrimental to the believability of the plot.”

British Theatre Guide: “A strong cast gives a warm engaging performance that helps shape an optimistic mood and an uplifting story that shows there are many different and changing views within the Muslim community about someone’s choice to be gay and a Muslim.”

The Spy in the Stalls: ★★★★★ “The play illustrates the beauty of complexity; of embracing nuance rather than shying away from it. Queer intersectionality’s very foundations within British society are questioned and embraced under the lights of Southwark Playhouse. The result is mesmerising.”

The Funeral Director continues to play at Southwark Playhouse until 24 November 2018.

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Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.
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Emma Clarendon on FacebookEmma Clarendon on InstagramEmma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.