Year of Release: 2003
Director: Janet Steel
The play Sock’em with Honey is an adaptation of An American Brat by the internationally recognized writer, Bapsi Sidhwa, and was produced in London by the Kali
Theater in 2003. It played in Leister Haymarket and in London in 2003.
The play explores the tensions that arise in a Parsi family when their daughter Feroza leaves Pakistan to attend college in the United States. Now she’s fallen in love with an American — and he’s Jewish. Suddenly Feroza’s family is getting more than they bargained for, including a lesbian roommate and a domineering Jewish grandmother. The resulting clash is a humorous, touching, insightful look at the common threads of family life.
Well-known Indian actress, Kitu Gidwani, from the award wining films, Earth and Dance of the Wind, comes from Bombay to play Feroza's mother.
Cockpit Theater Fringe
Feroza, a social anthropology student at SOAS, loves David, a computer whiz at Imperial
College. Nothing could be simpler – except that she is from a traditional Parsee family
in Pakistan and David is Jewish. When she writes home to announce that she wants
to marry a ‘non’, her grandmother faints – in truth, she’s always fainting – and the
Zoroastrian community threatens to cast her out. To save her daughter, Feroza’s mother,
Zareen, flies to London to stop the marriage by any means possible – whether by peppery
maternal condescension or by ‘socking’em with honey’.
Bapsi Sidhwa’s semi-autobiographical mixed-marriage drama could easily be
mistaken for a typical comedy of inter-cultural misunderstanding and reconciliation. It
does the usual things – it pokes a little good-natured (and genuinely amusing) fun at both
the conservatism of Parsee life in Pakistan and the freewheeling chaos of student
existence in London, then shows Zareen, after a chilly start, gradually warming to
David’s boyish charms. A happy ending soon appears to be in sight. Then something
unexpected happens: the play abandons the compliant conventions of traditional comedy
writing and reverts to steelier laws of real life. The confrontation scenes in the second
half of the play crackle with the terrible force of the speakers’ irreconcilable differences.
Janet Steel’s neatly designed production is well served by a series of excellent
performances. Kitu Gidwani is outstanding as wavering matriarch Zareen, making the
transition from sari to hotpants and back again with admirable ease.
Time Out – London April 2003
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