Submission

Liver and Lung Productions have created something extraordinary in Submission, a new play about the conflict between religion and sexuality. A two-hander, this eye-opening story melds physical theatre, spoken word and naturalism in a highly unique and moving way.

This is fascinating, real and astonishing theatre, and I urge everyone to see it this Fringe.

Sameer is a young Muslim Pakistani trying to align his position as ‘a liberal Muslim’ with his queerness. Shiv Rabheru has a nervous energy which is perfect for this role, and his delivery of spoken word monologues inspired by Qur’anic passages is at times breathtaking. If Kieran Mackintosh – who apparently took on the role of Sameer’s love interest last-minute – was at all uncertain in the role, he did not show it. His masculine energy contrasted with Rabheru’s gentility in a horrible but well-played parallel.

Minimal set, a solid lighting design and gorgeous soundscapes make the play what it is. Composer Shafeeq Shajahan, who also wrote and directed this piece in with Hannah Shields, uses the music well to transition us through the nonlinear plot. The transitions themselves are seamless and if the actors ever need to readjust to immediate new circumstances they do not show it. The single major piece of set – a prayer mat – is stark on the small stage in the black box theatre, and it is lovely to behold.

The physical moments are beautifully choreographed, and both sex and prayer movements are used to great effect to reflect the topics of the play. Both actors are talented physical performers and the thrust stage is used well to engage the entire audience. The strength of the play comes, however, in its most intimate moments, when the actors find themselves pushed together at one corner of the stage, or addressing each other from afar.

If you’ve ever struggled with your identity this play will speak to you, especially if you have ever had to deal with reconciling aspects of your faith or sexuality. This is fascinating, real and astonishing theatre, and I urge everyone to see it this Fringe.

Reviews by Elliot Douglas

SpaceTriplex

X The Musical

★★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

2016 the Musical

★★
theSpace on North Bridge

Woolf

★★★★
theSpace on Niddry St

The Dolls of New Albion

★★
Assembly Rooms

Gypsy Queen

★★★★★
C venues – C royale

Submission

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Sameer, a young British Pakistani, struggles to reconcile his sexual desires with his Islamic roots and values. On his 23rd birthday, Sameer hosts an unprecedented after-party with friends. A series of unwelcome events unfold, triggering an unhinged response in Sameer. Not only does he begin to question his faith, he also begins to acknowledge the cruel realities faced by queer people of colour. Torn between his allegiance to Mecca and his desire for temporal modernity, Sameer recites spoken word-cum-Quranic compositions, forcing us to contemplate the importance of integrating age-old philosophy with new-wave ideology.

Most Popular See More

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets