SECRETS lie at the heart of Hassan Govia’s ambitious play Boujie. Secrets that when revealed destroy long standing relationships.
At the play’s fulcrum is Devin (Govia himself), a young man who seems to have done pretty well for himself as an entertainment blogger. A London flat, champagne on tap and all the trappings that suggest success. But how well has he actually done? Is he all show or has the entrepreneur done better than he is letting on? Is he in point of fact a ‘boujie’ – a bourgeoisie?
His friends have no idea but they are soon to find out. They are an eclectic mix of individuals. A stressed out nurse (Dahlia, played by Natali Servat), a former City worker (Courtney, Peter Silva) and a bouncy council worker (Joslyn, Maria Yarjah). Some (Dahlia) more intimate with Devin than others.
They congregate in Devin’s flat to drink bubbles and eat a Chinese takeaway. Into the melting pot are thrown Devin’s somewhat unhinged sister Giselle (Cristal Cole) and next door neighbour Giles (Freddy Gaffney). Giles is a social misfit whose only talent, it appears, is to hack off anyone he speaks to – and drink other people’s champagne. An individual you would want to thump if you met him down the pub.
As the night unfolds, a bank statement left lying around by Devin ignites a war of words between him and his friends. It does not end well other than confirm that blood is thicker than water.
Govia deserves much credit for writing this (debut) play about young people trying to make their way in the world with varying degrees of success. It tackles a multitude of issues – race, inequality, fickleness, honesty and the challenges many young people face in modern Britain. Maybe too many on reflection, resulting in the play sometimes going down distracting avenues.
The cast is a vibrant one with stand-out performances from Yarjah (all bustle and attitude), Gaffney (who makes you cringe every time his repulsive Giles opens his mouth) and Govia.
Presented by theatre company Unshaded Arts and directed by Zoe Morris, Boujie is of the moment. Worth a watch if you can find your way down to the Drayton Arms Theatre on London’s Old Brompton Road.
Boujie runs until December 8.