THE Knot, written by Dan Daniel, is a clever and enjoyable play. It is full of twists and turns – more figure-eight than half-hitch – and contains big dollops of humour and seriousness.
It is built around the somewhat complicated (and real) lives of Caolan Dundon and Aiyaz Ahmed, who play Aiden and Imran respectively. It is all rather frank and brutally honest.
One is a Pakistani call centre employee (Imran) who has married outside – and against – his faith, resulting in him being ostracised by his parents. The other, Aiden, is a wannabe actor who is frantically trying to get his Argentinian girlfriend a visa to live in the UK – while struggling to launch a career.
Nothing is easy for either of them. After a long marriage, Imran’s Sikh wife has decided upon a little bit of extra-marital activity to spice things up. Divorce, it seems , is the only outcome.
Meanwhile, distance is eating away at Aiden’s relationship like corrosive rust, tempting him to the lure of Tinder in between appearing in adverts for pasta pots.
When Aiden’s and Imran’s lives intertwine, there are further twists and turns. Will Aiden, despite immigration hurdles galore, get his beautiful neuro scientist after all (a ring awaits her)? And will Imran patch up his relationship with his parents or his philandering wife? It is all rather suspenseful and enthralling, right until the very end. And it is not without its heartache.
The acting of Dundon and Ahmed is first rate. Dundon, a tall lyrical Irish individual with a mop of ginger hair that Harry Potter’s Hagrid would be proud of. Ahmed, upright and possessing a beautiful Glaswegian accent. A real on-stage chemistry exists between the two. Daniel’s writing is also first-rate, in places rather exquisite and effervescent.
Although the interval annoyingly interrupts (and stymies) the play’s flow, and the theatre at times is like sitting in an oven on full heat, The Knot is hugely enjoyable. It tackles key issues of the moment – clashes of culture, religious stubbornness, bureaucratic immigration policy, and the threatened institution of marriage.
All rather sumptuous fare that does not leave a knot in your stomach. As well as a bottle of water, bring along a handkerchief for the ending.
The Knot runs until July 6.