Sameena Zehra, the writer and performer of Tea With Terrorists, has led an extraordinary life and has been raised by an extraordinary family but her collection of stories, no matter how rich in cultural knowledge, do not make up a show. It was dinner time chat, it was bus-stop banter, it was, though almost unbelievable considering that the title refers to a true event in Zehra’s life, really quite dull. There was no passion or in the stories she told, she simply recounted things she has experienced or witnessed.
The emptiness that hung over the show was caused by two major factors. Firstly, we are never led to believe that things might not work out for Zehra and so there is no tension or drama. Secondly, her show is poorly structured. Whilst her insight into Kashmirian culture is interesting, her lack of skill as a writer sucks the life out of her tribulations and leaves a gaping chasm of worthlessness at the end of each chapter.
Some of her stories, the one about her battle-axe Grandmother scaring a terrorist into submission for example, do offer some reasonable amusement but, as with every segment in the show, it does not tie-in with the other threads and so is left lifeless on the floor, soon to be forgotten.