The following review originally appeared in LA Theatre Review
It was just too short.
N’afia is a 45 minutes, somewhat archetypal story which takes us through an excerpt of ordinary people caught up in war.
N’afia herself is all the things we Westerners would like to imagine her to be…kind, naive, a soon-to-be mother, dedicated to her husband, respectful of her God. And although she is displaced, injured and in the face of devastation, she nevertheless has hope. Hope that the Americans will rescue her people from Saddam, and restore a new kind of peace, order and freedom to their lives. Her one wish – that her unborn daughter will someday play women’s football (soccer) for the country’s national team.
N’afia gives herself over to trust, forgiveness and the belief in the goodness of others, for which, in part, brings about her tragic end.
What I longed for in this piece is more length and character development. Just when I felt invited into the lives of these people – the soldiers, the husband and the wife, the circumstance – it was over. Leaving me unsettled and longing for more, the brevity and abruptness is nevertheless the perfect metaphor for each person’s existence. They were here. They are gone. There is nothing else. And for what?
A sad, brief, ode to the victims of fear, misunderstanding and harsh reality.
Performances by the cast overall were good especially by the medic, the blind solder and N’afia, who the action mostly revolves around. These three characters in particular bring humanity to a slightly embryonic narrative.
Written by Anton Ray. Produced by Michael McIntyre.