The Djinns of Eidgah (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

The Djinns of Eidgah

A production that improves as it moves towards tragedy

Hampered by an unimaginative dramaturgy and a script that is often too dense with political dialectic, The Djinns of Eidgah nevertheless emerges as a multi-faceted commentary on the complexities of the conflict in Kashmir. Unapologetically sympathetic to the cause for Kashmiri independence, it does allow space for compassion for the Indian soldiers caught up in the occupation – although one of them ultimately succumbs to fear and enacts the decisive, final act of violence – and balances between the personal impact of colonial oppression and wider commentary on the circumstances of the ongoing conflict.

The character development of the first scenes can be slow and confusing, and the double narrative (of a young, talented footballer and a doctor involved in negotiations with the Indian government) twists around the protests, and martyrdoms, of the independence movement. The inequality of power is made explicit, the atmosphere of anxiety is developed, but the large cast, of variable ability, often complicate the action. Context and detail are emphasised at the cost of dramatic tension.

Yet in the final act, the stories come together both in tragic style and revealing the realities of the occupation. Two brilliant performances, from Imane Bou-Saboun and Suchitra Sebastian as the protagonists drive the resolution to its inevitable tragedy, and the script takes on a taut focus.

Sweet Grassmarket, run ended.

The Djinns of Eidgah

  • 3 stars

Bread Theatre and Film Company, University of Cambridge A moving tale of lives affected by conflict in Kashmir. Teenage footballers Bilal and Khaled attempt to understand what it means to be free in the most densely militarised region in the world. Psychiatrist Dr. Baig, setting out to cure a nation of its rage…

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