Santi & Naz, The Vaults - ★★★ - Until February 2, 2020

Photographer: Steve Gregson.

This tale of unrequited love at a time of great upheaval in India certainly evokes the lives of the two teenage girls, Santi & Naz, who are being divided by religion and politics. Ashna Rabheru (Naz) and Rose-Marie Christian (Santi) are both very convincing as playful youngsters who mature as their destiny develops uncontrollably. Tender moments between the girls are sensitively handled by director Madelaine Moore and the whole production is always good to look at. However, we did have issues with the use of modern speech patterns and dance when the play is clearly set in the late 1940s. The partition of India is an enormous and emotive subject, here we are made aware that families from different religious backgrounds did live harmoniously before being torn apart by politicians. The basic story of the relationship between the two girls and how arranged marriage to older men can prove disastrous is probably enough to sustain the running time of just 50 minutes without the introduction of political pressures. Nevertheless, the performances are outstanding and the final image is extremely effective.This is a well-meaning attempt to show life seventy years ago from a modern perspective.

Reviewed by D.S.J.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until February 2, 2020
Tue - Sat: 6:10 pm
The Vaults Theatre
Nearest tube: Waterloo
https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/santi-naz/

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