The Chosen Haram

A graduate of London’s National Centre for Circus Arts, Sadiq Ali brings humour, sensuality, and skill to this tale of boy meets boy, boy gets into the club scene and chemsex, boy faces addiction and despair: boy’s happy ending uncertain. Ali has created a brave piece of theatre. Not only in that he’s performing a semi-autobiographical piece about his (and others through a series of interviews with members of the LGBTQ+ community who identify as ex-Muslim) experiences as a young, gay, ex-Muslim man but also in that he has chosen to make this a circus show.

Deserves to be seen by anyone who questions the legitimacy of love between two men

Performed on double Chinese poles by two artistes, Ali and Alexandre Duran Davins, the circus is used to punctuate the drama onstage, their interactions a chorography of physical prowess and daring. It’s wonderful to see the poles being used to flip a prayer literally on its side before being the centre of a charged and erotic interaction between the two performers. This is an intimate performance that draws the audience in. Ali has presence on stage, expertly conveying the anguish and conflict facing the character while Davins is engaging as the casual, confident object of obsession and tentative first love.

The costuming by Cleo McCabe is suitably theatrical, with Ali appearing early in a kaftan shirt with an overly long train that looks beautiful when he’s atop the Chinese pole. The cast later transition into PVC club-wear that’s striking and eye catching in motion especially under Jamie Heseltine’s fantastic lighting.

“Haram” is anything that is forbidden or proscribed by Islamic Law and this show touches upon several of those. I can’t help but feel that this show might fall into that category, yet it deserves to be seen by anyone who questions the legitimacy of love between two men. It’s also a real starting-place for a conversation about the struggle to fit in to any culture be that Islamic or the gay club scene. For a first full-length production from this artist, The Chosen Haram is an impressive start, and I can’t wait to see what Sadiq Ali does next.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Frodo Allan

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Matilda Jr the Musical

★★★★
Summerhall

The Chosen Haram

★★★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Hot Clown Sex

★★★
Gilded Balloon at the Museum

Attenborough and His Animals

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical

★★★★

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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

An award-winning queer circus show from an Edinburgh-born artist. The Chosen Haram tells the story of two gay men and the barriers they must overcome. Expect a heady mix of love, drugs and Islam in this unique and complex take on circus. Performed on two Chinese poles this show is emotionally candid with moments of humour and joy. There is no traditional dialogue here – It does not need it. 'Elevates a boy-meets-boy love story into something dream-like' **** (Guardian). 'Beautiful story, beautifully told' **** (Stage). 'Brave, thrilling and poignant' **** (Scotsman). MadeInScotlandShowcase.com

Most Popular See More

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets