A classic tale of girl meets boy, girl can't kiss boy because Allah will see her, girl kisses boy anyway. With a bit of a political undertone (you couldn't tell).
Greeting the audience with homemade hummus and a heavily painted face, Randa Sayed guides us to the best seats, making sure we can see each other as well as the stage. La Boheme's main bar is packed out, and she knows how to work us. By the time the show starts there's already a buzz in the air.
I have not enjoyed physical theatre this much in a long time. Sayed is perfect. Her movements are sharp, funny and engaging. She doesn't disturb the physicality of her performance too much with spoken words. Instead, she uses a discreetly in-room live narrator, Brigitta Brown, to keep the story drumming along at a nice pace. Brown has one of those voices you could listen to for hours.
This show is well structured, building nicely, and it has unexpected twists that keep the crowd whooping and cackling throughout. The level of audience participation is vital to the show but relatively non-threatening. I won't give too much away, but you definitely want Sayed to lock eyes with you. Preferably accompanied by fierce tiger claw dance moves.
Sayed, from Western Sydney, has trained and created theatre in Paris and Barcelona, with a heavy clowning and mime bent. She is clearly a major talent and one to watch.
Experience & the Girl is theatre with a social conscience, without shoving it down your throat (except maybe some tongue). It tells a relatable story from an angle that just isn't found in a lot of Australian theatre. Sayed presents our daily dramas, internet dependence and a journey of self-discovery, through the veil of a Muslim girl in a western world.
Sayed is riveting. She is funny, sexy, serious and provocative, all in one. Experience & the Girl is a compelling story, and a rollicking good time. Do yourself a favour and go.
For show times and to book tickets, see the fringe guide.