The Big Lie (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

The Big Lie

Race, class and war blur together in thought-provoking piece

The Big Lie is a semi-autobiographical piece detailing the life of hotshot lawyer turned performer Shaniaz Hama Ali. As an Iraqi Kurd refugee forced to make a life in Sweden, Shaniaz presents a semi-fictionalised but no less raw account of this transition. Themes of race, class and war are explored through a series of darkly comic anecdotes. The audience are forced to follow along reliving numerous landmark moments of Shaniaz's life.

Shaniaz transports the audience to a variety of unfamiliar worlds throughout. The first to her childhood, which despite the social and economic pressures faced, she speaks of while wearing an almost contagious smile. Appetising language is used as memories are recalled with great clarity. It is clear that these moments were destined to define the actions that followed.

Juxtaposed with this, Shaniaz reveals the corrupt elitist world of life as a lawyer in Stockholm. White privilege is embodied through carefully crafted caricatures that are all too familiar to those seated in the audience as white guilt sets in. Shaniaz's storytelling capabilities are intelligent, apt and truly cutting; a welcome break from the more trivial pieces of this year's Fringe.

theSpace @ Jury's Inn, run ended.

The Big Lie

  • 4 stars

Kungälv Sverige and Shaniaz Hama Ali How far would you go to make it? A former child refugee, an Iraqi Kurd, Shaniaz grafted her way through law school to work as an intern and her big break is to support an arms deal for a major client. Enter the world of toxic deals, military massacres and selling cigarettes to children…